CNCG Guatemala

The Climate, Nature, and Communities project in Guatemala (CNCG) helps to conserve the country’s biodiversity, promote sustainable development of rural, forest-dependent communities, reduce deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions, supported the mitigation of the negative impacts of climate variability, and reduce migration, promoting prosperity to improve livelihoods.


The project activities are implemented in the Western Highlands, Alta and Baja Verapaz, and the Maya Biosphere Reserve.


Guatemala has one of the highest rates of ecological diversity in the world. With 14 eco-regions and 66 distinct eco-systems, its physiography varies immensely, lending itself to numerous micro-climates and an array of native flora and fauna species. This rich biodiversity supports food security, clean air and water, economic development, and local livelihoods. It is important to address urgent environmental threats to Guatemala’s biodiversity through local and global climate action, including by empowering communities affected by climate change. Likewise, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by investing in improved management of protected areas, biodiversity conservation, sustainable forest management, and value chain development for sustainably produced forest and non-timber forest products. Biodiverse ecosystems play an important role in helping societies to mitigate and adapt to climate-related natural disasters.


CNCG is carried out in three phases which have supported Guatemala to mitigate the negative effects of climate change. It used an integrated approach that includes improving government and community management of natural resources and biodiversity conservation, and the creation of institutional and technical capacity related to climate change.

During the first two phases (2013-2020), the project focused on five objectives: 1. Forests and markets (commercialization of sustainable forest products and services); 2. Reduced deforestation; 3. Adaptation to climate change; 4. Strengthening of local non-governmental organizations, and 5. Support for the initial phase of low emissions development.

In the third phase (2020-2023), the project focus is on two specific objectives, which fall under Objective 1 of Forests and Markets: 

  • Specific Objective 1: Conserve biodiversity while creating jobs and generating incomes for populations vulnerable to the negative economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Specific Objective 2: Increase employment that reduces emissions from land use change for populations vulnerable to the negative economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This project is expected to run from February 8, 2013 through February 26, 2023 with an estimated total USAID investment of $41,905,303.

USAID’s implementer for this project is the Rainforest Alliance.