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Development of business models for cooperation with the private sector as a instrument for socially acceptable restoration of near-natural forests

As of: January 2022

State programmes for forest protection and restoration take insufficient account of the protection of biodiversity and the support of local communities that have a major impact on forest areas. In cooperation with the private sector, the project develops sources of financing for the protection of biodiversity and the participation of the local population: forest areas are restored through agroforestry systems, for example, and smallholders are supported in implementing governmental requirements for the sustainable use of the areas in question. In model projects for the cocoa, honey and breadnut value chains, the project develops additional income opportunities for the population while at the same time conserving natural resources. The project experiences are to be used to develop criteria for efficient forest restoration strategies, and sustainable alternative uses and value chains of forest products are to be disseminated at local and national levels.
Predecessor project(s)
Tropical forest protection and sustainable community development in the Sierra del Lacandón National Park in Guatemala

State of implementation/results

  • The project contributes to the achievement of Guatemala's NDC and is identified as an implementation activity in the National Strategy for Forest Restoration. It is part of the 20x20 initiative of the Bonn Challenge. --The project strengthens the development of local communities to independently manage the production, processing and marketing of products from biodiverse agroforestry systems, such as cacao. To date, 1,500 families are participating in project activities.
  • So far, the project has improved the protection of about 180,960 ha of primary forest, restored 932 ha of forest, and put 560 ha of already restored forest to sustainable use. These figures are currently being reported to the National Roundtable for the Reconstruction of Forest Landscapes for inclusion in Guatemala's report on the achievement of the NDC.
  • A monitoring system to track the impact of the project on forest land and on target group has been developed. Results include the positive impact of biodiverse agroforestry systems on local bird diversity. Monitoring will be further expanded in the second phase of the project.
  • Smallholder committees have formed what are now ten umbrella associations for honey and cocoa marketing.
  • In 2019, it was possible to produce and sell the first chocolate made with cacao from the biodiverse agroforestry systems in the Sierra de las Minas. In 2020, another ton of cacao from the project was exported to Germany. --Success in organic certification: Cocoa of the producer group ASIPASM has been tested in several field surveys for the requirements for organic certification and management plans have been developed accordingly. German buyers are already interested. The DeLaSelva cooperative and the Original Beans company have announced the purchase of organically certified cocoa and intend to visit the growing areas and ship the products by the end of the year, if the pandemic situation allows.

Further Links

Project data


Implementing organisation:
OroVerde - Die Tropenwaldstiftung

Political partner(s):
  • Ministry of Agriculture (MAGA) - Guatemala
  • Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MARN) - Guatemala
  • National Forest Institute (INAB) - Guatemala

Implementing partner(s):
  • Fundación Defensores de la Naturaleza - Guatemala
  • Heifer International - USA

BMU grant:
7.099.995,00 €

10/2015  till  12/2023


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