Conserving Guatemala’s Ecosystems with Good Governance.

Guatemala Biodiversity Project

Project Dates: July 2018 - July 2023
Guatemala’s rich – yet fragile – ecosystems must be safeguarded through strong environmental governance to improve livelihoods.

From mangroves to pine trees and sea turtles to quetzals, Guatemala is home to an incredibly diverse host of species and ecosystems. As one of the most ecologically diverse nations on the planet, Guatemala’s biodiversity underpins its food security, clean air and water, economic development, and local livelihoods. But its complex ecosystems are vulnerable to equally complex threats.

Using a local systems approach, USAID’s Guatemala Biodiversity Project strengthens environmental governance and conservation of Guatemala’s System of Protected Areas, thereby improving livelihoods with sustainable results. Through national capacity building and pilot interventions in three of the most biologically diverse ecosystems in the country, the project fosters biodiversity conservation with better information on species and ecosystems, stronger policy and legislative reforms, enforcement and prosecution of wildlife crime, and local stakeholder engagement. By building capacity and improving governance, USAID’s Guatemala Biodiversity Project helps local species thrive alongside their human counterparts.

Project Goals


  • Promote strong environmental governance to protect ecosystems and improve livelihoods
  • Improve conservation approaches through better information on key species and ecosystems
  • Support Guatemala’s national and sub-national policy and legislative reforms
  • Build capacity for enforcement and prosecution of crimes committed in protected areas
  • Engage local stakeholders in conservation efforts
  • Increase income generation for the communities surrounding targeted protected areas by promoting environmentally sound products and services