Planning for adaptation to climate change must include indigenous communities. To make this happen in Guatemala, the Associación Sotz’il and the NGO Conservation International will receive a DM award to engage indigenous groups in planning use of communal lands and other issues. This will open the door for these groups to participate in national policymaking on adaptation to climate change.

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To increase indigenous peoples’ resilience to climate change through (1) climate change and adaptation training, (2) development of a legal framework for recognition of indigenous and communal land by the National Council of Protected Areas (CONAP), ( 3) legal recognition for five community and indigenous natural reserves to help them access incentives for sustainable management, and (4) participation in national-level climate-change policy dialogues to incorporate indigenous knowledge and to be part of proposed action plans and strategies.

Guatemalan communities, especially indigenous populations, are highly dependent on natural resources for their livelihoods, to provide wood, energy, and food, as well as cultural identity and opportunities for sustainable development. Indigenous communities are particularly vulnerable to climate-change impacts because their lands are not included in the protected areas system, nor have these communities been part of the national dialogue on climate change; they lack information on this threat and how they can adapt to it.
Innovation / Expected Results: 

Indigenous communities have not traditionally been included in Guatemala’s conservation efforts, nor in policy dialogue. Two multi-sectoral promoters groups (“grupos promotores”) have been formed by conservation NGOs and indigenous peoples—one for communal lands and one for indigenous peoples’ issues—opening the door for indigenous groups to collaborate with the government and participate in policy initiatives, including the national dialogue on climate change policy and adaptation. The inclusion of indigenous peoples’ needs and support for utilizing their traditional knowledge in national-level adaptation processes is an innovation that will achieve more targeted, inclusive, and sustainable adaptation.