In the last ten years, a Model for territorial and rural development has been constructed and consolidated in Guatemala, based on protected areas establishment and participative management. This Model pursues to overcome the traditional perception that the protected areas are antagonist to rural development, because in a Worldwide Climate Change -CCG by its initials in Spanish- context and high social-environmental conflict based on natural resources grounds, the biodiversity conservation must be necessarily and fully integrated in all Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies to CCG, and in all planning of Food Security and Rural Comprehensive Development.
Thanks to the indispensable support of the International Cooperation and mainly to the French Fund for the Global Environment (FFEM), the Netherlands Cooperation and the Norwegian Cooperation, the Darwin-FUNDAECO Initiative has developed a sustained effort for the construction of a sustainable territorial development -based on the protected areas management- that fully integrates the environmental, social and economic dimensions.
Currently, in many FUNDAECO intervention regions, there is MORE community participation in the territorial decision making, more technical assistance, more community land legalization, more resources transference to based associations, more forestall incentives and more access to alternative education INSIDE than OUTSIDE of the protected areas. This is without doubt the best New Model success proof.
From a social-political perspective, this new model has been also constructed in an academic, political and environmental, agricultural, farmer and rural organization strategy convergence space. Around these communications, coordination and joint work processes, it could happen –and it is actually happening- a real advocacy agenda articulation from environmental groups, agricultural organizations and the Indigenous People, before the growing environmental crisis that Guatemala lives, before the growing pressures of a global economy and before the inevitable impacts of Global Climate Change.