Mapping of forest cover and assessment of ecosystems and ecosystem services related to local livelihoods

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Courtesy of Wetlands International

The municipality of Santa Cruz del Quiché, located in the Quiché Department of Guatemala, is characterized by degraded natural resources and a population highly vulnerable to climate change impacts. As part of the Partners for Resilience programme, Guatemalan Red Cross and Wetlands International conducted a study to map the forest cover and ecosystems of the Cucubá river microbasin in Santa Cruz del Quiché. The study also describes the ecosystem services that are crucial for local livelihoods, disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation.

The study concludes that:

  • 53.27% of the micro-basin displays adequate land use, but one third (29.28%) is being overused. The primary use is agriculture, despite the low yields of the used land due to its forest vocation.
  • Threats and risks exist of natural, human and mixed origin (socio-natural) origin.
  • The ecosystem services (both provision and regulation) in the micro-basin are highly interdependent with local livelihoods.

The study proposes zoning for land-use planning with a climate change adaptation approach in the micro-basin’s high risk and degraded areas, as well as in areas generating hydric recharge and other ecosystem services.

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