Boosting transparency of forest data

Guatemala emerges as a pioneer of transparent forest information in Latin America


The National Forest Institute (INAB) of Guatemala has made the metadata and microdata of its first National Forest Inventory openly available. Such an achievement was made possible by the support of the project, “Strengthening global capacity to increase transparency in the forestry sector (CBIT-Forest),” coordinated by FAO and financed by the Fund for the Global Environment (GEF).

This action is a demonstration of Guatemala's commitment to improve the transparency of its information related to forests and trees outside of forests. A National Forest Inventory (NFI) provides a systematic collection of forest resource data and improves the knowledge of the state of forest conservation and of biomass and forest carbon stocks. This information is key to the sustainable management of forest resources and for reliable and transparent reporting on country progress on climate change.

Information from the country’s first NIF is available through the National Forest Information System of Guatemala (SIFGUA), ​​which can be accessed via the FAO Food and Agriculture Microdata Catalog (FAM). Guatemala’s metadata includes information on how the first NFI was conducted, while the microdata contains data tables of the sampling units, characteristics of forests and land use classes, the attributes of living trees, dead trees and stumps, natural regeneration, and the use and management of forest products and services. In addition, the microdata maintain information confidentiality standards.

Guatemala’s NFI is one of the main components of forest monitoring in the country, which is why INAB and the National Council for Protected Areas (CONAP) are working together to continuously collect data and make it freely available. Further, the two institutions are coordinating the country’s second NIF, which is currently being implemented with governmental and international support.

With this action, Guatemala has become the third tropical country in the world, and the first in Central America, to make NFI data openly available. This data may be used by analysts and scientists to develop research on the country's forests and plan the sustainable management of forest resources. Additionally, it will enable the development of reports and the formulation of projects that mobilize funds for the management and conservation of forest resources and for climate change mitigation and adaptation.

This post was originally featured on the National Forest Monitoring website: