Learning from NES Guatemala Good practices from a multi-stakeholder platform
NES Guatemala -Strategy of Inclusive and Sustainable Land Governance for Food Security in Guatemala – is promoted in a complex context characterized by active agrarian conflict and the criminalization of human rights defenders working on land and territorial issues. Despite difficulties, NES Guatemala has made significant progress since it started in 2013, contributing to rural development and to a safe and equitable land access for peasant and indigenous populations in the country.
The National Engagement Strategy (NES) has been strengthened with the Frente Indígena Campesino - Indigenous Peasant Front-, an alliance bringing together several grassroots organizations. The Frente facilitates negotiations with agrarian institutions in order to seek solutions to landgrabbing, land conflicts and the limited access to land for peasant and indigenous populations. NES has successfully promoted consultancy work and support in cases of human and land rights violations, training hundreds of community leaders -404 in 2018- to defend their rights. Furthermore, it has established key cooperation agreements, such as the accord with the Secretariat of Agrarian Affairs (SAA), to negotiate conflict resolution and agricultural policy.
Relevant proposals have also been addressed to public institutions. A recommendation to promote family farming has been submitted to the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food (MAGA, by its Spanish acronym). The MAGA´s budget is subject to constant monitoring. There is a line of research to reinforce evidence-based advocacy work and fomenting, amid multiple actors, the debate of critical issues such as rural unemployment. Another significant effort is the strategic use of communications through radio community campaigns, public forums and social media.