Ray of Hope Over Guatemalan Bureaucracy

The shysters who live off government paperwork have reacted with alarm to the agility of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources regarding permits for Minimum Environmental Impact Activities.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014


An article on Plazapública.com.gt reports that until very recently, "... there were only three ways of classifying Environmental Instruments. Three categories for the assessments in which the government guarantees that the projects, mega projects and mini-projects (already constructed or in operation or under construction) meet the minimum requirements necessary to prevent damage to the environment. "

"... For more than three months, alongside these classifications, a new category has been being used. The new classification is called Minimal Environmental Impact Activities (AMI by its initials in Spanish), even though this name does not appear in the rules of assessment and controls, nor in the exhaustive list of projects of the Ministry, or any ministerial agreement. Or even under the backing of a government decision. "

"... To date, more than a hundred projects have been approved under the category of minimal environmental impact. Every one of them approved via a new streamlined counter. Under internal 'rules' it is specified that everything must be resolved in less than 24 hours. "

Regarding this "quick stop", ministry officials said "... it was intended to help small businessmen. A tortilla shop, or puncture repair outlet; someone, for example, who has little education, and who is required to complete plans and digital files for their business.The goal was to streamline this. 80 per cent of Environmental Instruments reaching the Ministry are of type C. 60 percent of them are minimal impact. "

More on this topic

Promise to Accelerate Delivery of Building Permits

July 2019

The Salvadoran government announced that it will accelerate the delivery of permits for several construction projects pending from previous administrations, valued at more than $1.4 billion.

Directors of the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (MARN), who are part of the new administration of President Nayib Bukele, specified that the aim is to deliver as soon as possible the files that were retained by old authorities and that the mission is to streamline the procedures but not to make them flexible.

Guatemala: Bureaucracy and Environmental Permits

June 2015

The private sector claims that excessive paperwork and the lack of technical personnel in the Ministry of Environment is delaying the assessment of environmental impact studies and the granting of building permits.

According to the Guatemalan Chamber of Construction, the slowness with which the studies are evaluated and permits granted to construction companies is preventing projects being carried out in the medium-term and moving towards recovery of the sector.

Honduras: Environmental Licenses Accelerated

January 2015

An announcement has been made that rulings on environmental feasibility will be given within 24 hours, environmental permits categories 1 and 2 will take two months, and for projects the period is three to four months.

Taking into account the demands of the business sector the government has announced it is changing the procedures for submission of environmental permits in order to reduce the waiting times and streamline the process.

Fast Track Counter for Environmental Impact Studies

August 2012

The Ministry of Environment of Guatemala has presented a new system to reduce the average time of processing from three months to one day.

The FastTrack Counter at the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MARN), functions as an expedited service, efficiently and effectively, to develop initial environmental assessments where environmental impact is minimal, with a maximum response time of 24 hours.

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