Guatemala is One of the World’s Most Biologically Diverse Countries

The country's biological diversity provides various services that benefit the environment, wildlife, and humanity.

by Victor Cojulún

Guatemala City, by Jenny Herrera -AGN- Drinking water, air, and food variety are possible thanks to Guatemala’s nature and biological diversity, according to information from the National Council of Protected Areas -Conap-.

The biological diversity includes fauna, flora, ecosystems, and cultural diversity.

Ecosystems include diverse species and genes and are made up of various components. They provide climate, soil, microorganisms, food, and recreation services.


The ecosystem provides a wide range of goods and services, which include water,  animal species, rubber, wood, and fungi. 

Regulatory services

In Guatemala, the biological diversity of the country’s resources includes regulating services, such as climate change. The most important ones include air quality, water treatment, soil conservation, and pest management.

Expertise Center

The country also has a specialized speciation center, which has evolved the species of Mesoamerica.  An example of this is the wild corn.  There are also more than 20 varieties of corn in the country. Other examples include the more resistant plants that provide nutrients.

Wetlands are also found in ecosystems, which are important worldwide since they are wooded areas. The functions of the wetlands include air purification by filtering polluting gases.

Through Decree 4-88, on January 26, 1988, Guatemala has a National Wetlands Policy through Agreement 30-2005.

Air Pollution

Air pollution is caused by a number of factors, including:  :

  • Pollution is caused by industrial companies that generate toxic gasses or dispose of chemicals.
  • The smoke produced in homes because many people still cook with firewood.
  • The transportation sector worldwide also causes a quarter of the carbon dioxide related to energy generation.
  • Cigarette smoking also degrades the air because it contains toxic substances.
  • Dust storms and volcanic eruptions, among other natural sources of pollution.


Conap encourages Guatemalans to take better care of nature’s resources, contributing by not throwing trash or other substances on the ground, thus improving the air quality.

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