New & Notable on How Much is That Christmas Tree Worth?

Project Name: Preliminary Economic Valuation of Goods and Services From Natural Communities of Pinabete or Guatemalan Fir (Abies guatemalensis Redher) in the Municipalities of Chiantla, Todos Santos Cuchumatán and San Juan Ixcoy, Huehuetenango, Guatemala

Managing organization, country: Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala, Centro Universitario del Nor Occidente, Guatemala, Cooperativa Integral Agrícola Flor Guadalupana Bacuense R.L., Guatemala

Synopsis: Pinabete or Guatemalan fir (Abies guatemalensis Redher) is endemic to the mountainous zones of Guatemala, southern Mexico and northern Honduras. This project’s goal is to generate basic information that will favor the sustainable use of this species from a biological and socio-economic perspective of the area. Research carried out by the University of San Carlos; the Centro Universitario del Nor Occidente (North Western University Center); and the Cooperativa Integral Agrícola Flor Guadalupana Bacuense R.L (Flor Guadalupana Bacuense Integrated Agriculture Cooperative) — helped estimate the importance of this resource in its natural habitat.

Annual budget & donors: $ 4,500 from Guatemala Conservation Trust and the Overbrook Foundation

Project conclusions: For the three municipalities included of this study, natural pinabete communities cover an area of 242 hectares at present, of which only 10.9% are on private property. To evaluate the carbon sequestration services of the region’s pinabete forests, two mathematical models were used to estimate the quantity of carbon fixed to date. Determinations from the mathematical models estimated carbon fixation by the pinabete trees are equivalent to 19,223 metric tons in 217.5 hectares (537 acres), with an economic value of US $72,086.25 (US$3.75/mt³). The total carbon fixed in the soil was calculated to be 24,883.0 metric tons, estimating a total economic value for this service of US $165,400.00, equivalent to an average per hectare of US $683.40.


Herless Arbey Martínez
Aldea Bacú
San Juan Ixcoy
Huehuetenango, Guatemala

Read all the study’s conclusions and more about this project in the Eco-Index:


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