Water Governance to strenghten capacity to adapt to Climate Change

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The Joint Programme “Strengthening of the Environmental Governance before the Climatic Risk in Guatemala” developed mechanisms to strengthen the environmental governance, especially the governance of the water, to strengthen the adaptation capacity to the Climate change, especially in the part of the poorest population, of a democratic and enclosing way, at subnational level in 6 departments of the Dry Broker (inhabitant of Khuatipa, Jalapa, Chiquimula, Zacapa, The Progress and Casualty Verapaz) and in a demonstrative area shaped by 6 municipalities of Casualty Verapaz (Salamá, San Miguel Chicaj, Rabinal, Cubulco, The Chol and Pomegranate trees). It was put to the service of the Program the experiences of 3 Agencies of the System of United Nations (PNUD, FAO and UNICEF) and of 4 institutions of the Government of Guatemala (MARN, MAGICIAN, MSPAS and SEGEPLAN) those that, by means of synergies relations, put its particular institutional experiences for the achievement of the results of the Program.

Purpose of the activity

All of the activies of the Joint Programme are Todas las actividades del Programa Conjunto están directed to obtain results and targets that help to strengthen the Governance of the Water that the SNU defines like “The political, economic, social processes; as well as the institutions across governments, the civil society and the private sector, take decisions about how using to develop and to handle the water resources of ideal form”

The areas of intervention of the Joint Program are:

  1. 6 departments of the dry corridor OF GUATEMALA (defined by the municipalities with extremely high, very high and high threat of drought): Zacapa, Progress, Chiquimula, Jutiapa, Jalapa and Baja Verapaz.
  2. 6 municipalities of the department of Baja Verapaz as demonstration area: Salama, San Miguel Chicaj, Rabinal, Cubulco, The Chol and Granados.

The PC will support to individuals and communities in the corridor to dry face and manage the consequences of climate change (adaptation to climate change); to incorporate future climate risks to the process of formulating policies to address the vulnerability to the impact of climate change on drought and its potential consequences in the field of the availability and access to the water resource, the effects on agricultural production and environmental services.

Original issue addressed by the activity

In the dry CORRIDOR of GUATEMALA (the population of this area is increased to 150 thousand people, most are of Indian origin), the precipitation of the 2001 deficit, as well as the fall in coffee prices on the international market and its impact on rural economies, occurred in a context of severe social and institutional vulnerability and environmental degradation that for years has accumulated in those territories. Together with the above, the problems of availability and supply of water that characterized that region and the poor management of water resources and environmental, are two elements that contribute substantively to setting conditions of environmental insecurity and ungovernability.

Compared to the demand for water for human consumption and food production, environmental problems in the named DRY CORRIDOR, is summarized in:

  1. A decrease in the quantity and quality of the water, and the deregulation of the cycle of water resources.
  2. The lack of protection and disappearance of water sources.
  3. The high environmental and territorial vulnerability.
  4. The weak institutional management linked to the use and management of natural resources

Strategy / approach chosen to address the issue

The Program is framed within the mandate of the United Nations system to have a catalytic role and to support measures which aim to prevent the violation of human rights to clean water and sanitation destroys the large-scale human potential.

Implementation of the strategy / chosen approach

Program prompted a series of public planning instruments in 6 departments of the dry corridor (Chiquimula, Zacapa, El Progreso, Jutiapa, Jalapa, and Baja Verapaz) to ensure that national and local governmental institutions act coordination to strengthen environmental governance in the region.

Among those instruments are 17 public municipal policies for environmental management, 2 public policies departmental management hydroforestal (Chiquimula and Baja Verapaz) and 1 public policy of food security and nutrition in Baja Verapaz, a compendium of instruments of public policy and 1 Shared Agenda to strengthen environmental governance in the dry corridor

The planned goal was of “at least a municipal public politics of environmental governance to favor the adaptation to the climate change prepared in, at least, a municipality of every department of the dry broker”. It is goal managed to excel itself because there existed technical, political and administrative conditions that allowed to work beyond the planned thing. In the department of Chiquimula the institutional representatives, municipal authorities and civil society did not show interest because the Program was supporting them in the formulation of municipal politics but, on the other hand, they requested support to formulate a political departmental . A Table of departmental Dialogue in Casualty Verapaz and a policewoman in Jalapa, organized by the Program worked so that representatives of the civil society, of governmental institutions and of nongovernmental organizations, discuss and propose solution alternatives to the main environmental problems, principally the related ones to the water and forest resources. These products were not foreseen in the project document (PRODOC), but the local conditions of environmental uncontrollable nature demanded the shape of the above mentioned Tables, like spaces of dialogue and of proposal. In addition, a plan of communication, incidence and partnerships on adaptation to climate change and their link with the Millennium development goals was developed and implemented to carry the provability of the programme area's population worked related messages. This product was not provided for in the PRODOC, but was included in the substantive review approved by the National Steering Committee on July 29, 2009.

Processes were implemented in 6 departments of the dry corridor, processes that laid the groundwork for the establishment of payment or compensation mechanisms for environmental services, already counting with a local community experience successfully implemented in the villages of San Rafael and the municipality of San Miguel Chicaj Pacani, and ongoing compensation mechanism for water-related environmental services in the municipalities of Rabinal and San Miguel Chicaj, both in the Department of Baja Verapaz.

Results and Impacts


  • RESULT 1: the governmental institutions of the dry corridor generate proposals for implementing coordination instruments of public policy on environmental governance.
  • RESULT 2: Families and community organizations actively participate in the decision-making process to manage the natural resources of the dry Corridor management.
  • RESULT 3: Communities, municipal governments and Commonwealth made good practice of comprehensive use of water (domestic consumption and sustainable agriculture)
  • RESULT 4: Governmental institutions, communities, municipal governments and communities of the dry corridor negotiate schemes of payment or compensation for environmental services with emphasis on water resources


  • Consideration changes national and local governmental administration: The Program was designed, helped and closed during 3 different periods from national and local governmental administration, factor that was born in mind successfully during the beginning of its implementation and in the municipal transition during the closing, but that was limited at the transition at national level
  • Different forms from Execution: One of the main arrears of the Program was due to the fact that the associates' limitations were not foreseen to execute the PC, from the optics of the national regulation and of the different forms of execution of the Organizations of the SNU (from the most harmonious, and intermediate processes) and it was necessary to resort to shared implementation to approve the execution between the different organizations.
  • Late plan of Incidence, communication and alliances in the execution: From the lineaments of the Secretariat of the Fund ODM-Spain, a Plan of Incidence, Communication and Alliances was formulated and passed half of implementation of the PC FOGARCLI. The result was that the implementation of the above mentioned plan, like instrument, was not so effective since he was turning out to be separated from the activities of incidence, communication and alliances that the PC was already executing.
  • As for the alliances management, in the PC it happened(existed) in an independent way for every component - important results gave and that they will guarantee replicability of many of the products, it is estimated that a common strategy had given major results.
  • Governance structure: in the case of the joint programme of the room window and climate change, the establishment and operation of a technical Committee with participation of implementing agencies and national counterparts allowed speed up decision-making and coordinating actions carried out through different agencies with different procedures and requirements.
  • Harmonization of Local Development Councils: taking into account the diversity of levels of incidence of the PC (from the dry corridor family until the region called level) the official structure where they converged and enhanced many of the activities and products, promoting the harmonization and sustainability, were the development councils, and in particular the local community and municipal level (COCODE and population)


  • Products of good productive practice oriented to adaptation to climate change promoted by the programme were the establishment of 349 hectares with systems agro you whistled pastoral, of which 234 hectares correspond to agro forestry systems and 115 hectares to systems he whistled pastoral. Likewise, managed to reforest 250 hectares and 220 hectares of mixed forests and numbered are protected, making 328 hectares to PINFOR forestry incentive Programmes and PINPEP enter.
  • The program installed 14 bio demonstration digesters and 30-saving stoves for firewood with which 44 families declined the regular consumption of firewood in at least 66%. You are estimated based on ENCOVI 2006, which the population used firewood for cooking in Baja Verapaz is 229,742 people. The use of bio digesters and wood-saving stoves helps reduce deforestation energy purposes.
  • To promote the comprehensive use of water, the programme strengthened and trained people in 66 communities located inside and outside of Baja Verapaz 6 watersheds that make up the provability of the programme area. The generation of knowledge and skills for this purpose was carried out through of around 500 training events for the transfer of good practices and alternative technologies for water and sanitation. These actions were developed with teachers and students of 48 schools and 32 communities, benefiting community 3,491 both population (men and women) and 6,328 children and teachers.
  • El Programa desarrolló y fortaleció la planificación municipal vinculada al agua y saneamiento en los 6 municipios del área demostrativa en Baja Verapaz (Salamá, San Miguel Chicaj, Rabinal, Cubulco, El Chol y Granados). A la fecha, planes municipales de agua y saneamiento, formulados a partir de diagnósticos, han sido ya aprobados por los Concejos Municipales de Rabinal, San Miguel Chicaj y El Chol. Estos planes sirven de base para establecer las prioridades de inversión local en infraestructura de agua y saneamiento.
  • El Programa también impulsó, en coordinación con la Mancomunidad de Municipios de Valle de Baja Verapaz para el Fortalecimiento y Desarrollo (MANCOVALLE), la formulación participativa de 2 planes municipales de uso integral del agua con énfasis en consumo doméstico y agricultura sostenible en Rabinal y San Miguel Chicaj. En mayo de 2011 dichos planes fueron aprobados por los respectivos Concejos Municipales y serán instrumentos para la gestión integral del recurso hídrico.

Next Steps


  • Focus on components and program team in the same territory to promote complementarily, cost-effectiveness, measuring the impact and synergies within the same territory. It is recommended that an intervention with a territorial approach in specific should not lose the empowerment approach, incidence
  • Include an analysis and plan for capacity-building for the partner (s) in the execution of such anticipated support mechanisms favoring harmonization without limiting the joint implementation from program design.
  • Development or possibility of a frame or common rules of the UN system for the implementation of Programmes sets that had favored the approval of procedures and coordination of activities.
  • On a PC focused mainly on territorial level, hit it is recommended to focus on intersectoral coordination in the territory.
  • Raise the results of the area demonstration of a PC at the national level through the national coordination of each topic instances and as water Cabinet, Cabinet Socio-environmental, inter-ministerial Committee on climate change, Sectorial table of environment and water, and other linked forums to not promote parallel structures at this level.
  • Technical coordination structures with the participation of all institutions and relevant actors are needed for an effective implementation of a joint programme.
  • The development of more Joint Programmes that address the theme of climate change intersectorally.
  • Extend your time in the design of programs set to ensure the participation and verification of interest of participation of all stakeholders, including beneficiaries
  • Consider the processes of change of Government in time, resources and processes of validation during and the time of design, implementation and closure in their different levels of intervention.
  • Incorporate into the design and document program, a strategy of communication, management of alliances and common incidence (with products and specific indicators), consistent with the results framework to avoid the divorce of such activities for the implementation of the PC.
  • Identify partners through a mapping of actors and complementary initiatives and program management and coordination with these actors-initiatives through the implementation of the programme (providing budget and time).

Potential replication / application

The more immediate possibility to invest in the replication of good practices for adaptation on a large scale (USD$ 15 M investment), was achieved through the management and impact of authorities of MRNA, which taking the inputs products and the support of the staff of PC FOGARCLI, mobilized resources from other donors (KfW, GIZ) for its replicability cooperation.

It is recommended that an intervention with a territorial approach in specific should not lose the focus of empowerment, incidence, management of knowledge and alliances at a level more wide (sectoral national) to promote its replicability-sustainability

Information products

  1. Lecciones Aprendidas Preliminares Análisis Global del Programa Conjunto
  2. Resumen Fortalecimiento de la Gobernabilidad Ambiental ante los Riesgos Climáticos en Guatemala
  3. Informe Final del Programa.


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