Guatemala Greenhouse Gas Inventories Introductory Workshop

Guatemala Greenhouse Gas Inventories Introductory Workshop
On June 25 and 26, 2014 FCMC, in collaboration with USAID and Guatemala's Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MARN), organized a workshop in Guatemala on greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories and low emissions development strategies (LEDS).

On June 25 and 26, FCMC, in collaboration with USAID and Guatemala’s Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MARN), organized a workshop in Guatemala on greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories and low emissions development strategies (LEDS). Over 50 representatives from government, academia and civil society, including MARN, the National Commission on Protected Areas, and the University of Guatemala participated in the workshop. The objective of the workshop was to present GHG inventory and LEDS concepts on the basis of Guatemala’s existing experience (the country has developed two National Communications to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change [UNFCCC]) and to identify specific strategies for improving GHG data quality and transparency. The participants, many of whom are actively involved in Guatemala’s GHG inventory work, recognized the need to adopt best practices and methodologies in data collection and reporting—especially as MARN builds a new system for its national GHG emissions inventories.

This workshop was the first in a series of FCMC-supported workshops on best practices and protocols for GHG inventory development as prescribed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). In 2013, FCMC released a detailed report reviewing of Guatemala’s recent GHG inventory based on 2005 data. The report provided recommendations to improve the transparency and completeness of the inventory, ensuring its reliability as a basis for future national development priorities and LEDS goals. Thus, the series of workshops launched through FCMC is focused on increasing Guatemala’s capacity to register and report GHG data for each of the sectors required in the IPCC’s inventory protocols, namely: Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF); Energy; Agriculture; Industrial Processes; and Waste.

Structured through presentations and informal working groups, this opening workshop offered expert perspective on inventory design and institutional coordination, resulting in a critical evaluation of Guatemala’s priorities by the participants themselves. Leading this dialogue were Julia Martinez, former Climate Change Program Coordinator for Mexico’s National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change, and Walter Oyhantçabal, international expert in land use change and forestry. As the leader of Mexico’s GHG inventory efforts to date, Ms. Martinez offered lessons learned from Mexico’s 20-year history of developing and reporting its national GHG inventory. Similarly, Mr. Oyhantçabal elaborated on best practices such as detailed documentation and uncertainty analysis, as well as high-level themes, including legal frameworks and national inventory systems.

Finally, the workshop participants worked in groups to identify sector-specific challenges to data collection and data quality analysis. The small groups also provided input to the design of the upcoming workshops. Significantly, the groups recognized barriers and opportunities for Guatemala’s ongoing inventory development, pointing to cooperation with the private sector and academia as keys to gaining institutional capacity, ensuring technical competency and overcoming financing barriers.

The next workshop scheduled in this series will focus on the LULUCF sector, and will be held in Guatemala City on August 7-8. This workshop will be followed by workshops for the Energy, Agriculture, Industrial Processes and Waste sectors as well as a closing summary workshop. Inputs from other FCMC Task Areas include the MRV Manual and the document on Understanding Land Use in the UNFCCC.

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