Communication Initiative for the Recognition of Common Land and Local Governance in Guatemala


The FAO supports various initiatives in Latin America within the framework of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure (VGGT). It has thus supported the Government of Guatemala in promoting the new Agricultural and Rural Integral Development Policy and has provided technical assistance through the LAP. As an extension of these efforts, the FAO is now launching a Communication for Development (ComDev) initiative to support training processes and social dialogue and to encourage the recognition and responsible governance of common land, which represents 15 percent of the national territory.

This initiative is aimed at informing key players of the legal and administrative options and the legal instruments available for the recognition of common land, documenting and sharing relevant experiences and good practice on the subject of recognition of common land, local governance and sustainable management of natural resources, and facilitating training processes, social dialogue and consultation at local and national level.

To achieve this, the aim is to develop three types of communication materials: an introductory educational video, the legal framework and the existing solutions, presentation of specific cases, steps to follow and tools for action; five micro-documentaries on successful experiences in the recognition of common land and local governance good practice, carried out with participatory methodologies in indigenous and peasant communities; a leaflet and a user guide for the materials to accompany dialogue processes and consultation at community level.

The Communication for Development Centre (CECODE) is implementing this activity with the technical aid of the ComDev team of the FAO Partnerships, Advocacy and Capacity Development Office, and in coordination with the Common Land Development Group comprising various government and civil society agencies.

The micro-documentaries have already been filmed and will shortly be available. The communities involved are: San Isidro (San Jerónimo, Baja Verapaz); Agua Fría, Chialli and Cuyquel (Tactic, Alta Verapaz); Se Manzana (El Estor, Izabal); La Bendición (Guanagazapa, Escuintla); Chuamazan and Baquiax (Totonicapan). The other materials will be available in October 2015.