Guatemala Placeholder

Community-based restoration

About the Implementing organization

Name: Asocación Forestal Integral de la Cruce de la Colorada

Country: Guatemala

Year of establishment: 1998

Type of organization: Community-based association or organization / Women’s association or organization


This restoration activity that was carried out by the board of AFICC is innovative for four reasons. First, this is the first restoration activity of degraded pasture lands in the multiple use zone of the Maya Biosphere Reserve. Restoration of degraded pasture lands is delicate because this is against the interests of agricultural producers. AFICC plays a pioneering role in restoration. Seven other communities and two private companies have a forest concession in the multiple use zone of the Maya Biosphere Reserve and can learn from the restoration activity of AFICC. Also, the national authority of protected areas, CONAP, is interested in restoring degraded pasture lands.
Second, the restoration was done with 45 seed sources of mahogany to ensure the conservation of local genetic resources of mahogany and to establish an experiment to evaluate the performance of the different seed sources.

Third, two environmentally friendly management techniques were tested as an alternative to using herbicide to remove pasture and allow tree seedlings to grow: manual grass cutting and covering of pasture with plastic.

Fourth, AFICC invited school children from the community to participate in tree planting to create awareness among school children and their families about the activities of AFIFCC and the importance to protect forest and restore degraded pasture lands.

Nature Element


Type of Action

Protection / Restoration / Sustainable use / Access and benefit sharing

Sustainable Development Element

Jobs and livelihoods / Disaster risk reduction / Peace and security / Climate action

Related Sustainable Development Goal(s)


Environmental Impacts

Degraded pasture lands are fire centers that threaten the surrounding forest from destruction because they contain accumulated biomass and because degraded pasture lands are prone to illegal burning. The restoration activity will reduce the risk of illegal burning and with that, it will reduce the risk of further destruction of the surrounding forests. The planted mahogany trees come from different seed sources in the forest concession and allow the community to conserve and evaluate this genetic resource.

Sustainable Development Impacts

The restoration activity will support the continuation of the forest concession and sustain income and food that the community derives from forest-related activities. The restoration activity reduces the risk of the destruction of the forest, which is the source of income from timber and non-timber forest products. The restoration activity increases the chances of concession renewal by 2023 granted by the National Council of Protected Areas, CONAP because restoration is regarded a good practice by CONAP because it helps to protect the forest. The conversion of pasture land to forest increases humidity. It can be anticipated that this helps to regulate local climate conditions buffering against extreme heat drought and rain events. By involving school children in the restoration activity the forest association increases the awareness and support for forest-related activities in their communities.


This first restoration activity and the different management techniques tested provide lessons for further restoration activities in the multiple use zone of Maya Biosphere Reserve by communities and the national authority of protected areas.


A collaborative guide is under development that explains the different steps in seed collection, seed source management, nursery trials, and restoration. This can be used by other communities in Guatemala and around the world. AFICC received already in January 2017 representatives of four other forest communities to share their experiences about restoration.

The member of AFICC made a first and important step in restoration. They deserve our deepest respect and support to continue their activities in the multiple use zone of the Maya Biosphere Reserve.

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