In collaboration with the Ministry of Environment & Natural Resources (MARN) in Guatemala, UN-SPIDER's Regional Support Office CATHALAC (Water Center for the Humid Tropics of Latin America and the Caribbean) is carrying out a satellite-based analysis of the current mangrove cover of Guatemala. The experts elaborated several maps showing the cover in 2012. Various remote sensing and field data techniques were applied to conduct this research. The experts used satellite images of the periods from 2001 to 2012 including Landsat-5 TM, Landsat-7 ETM + (NASA / USGS), Hyperion (NASA) and ALOS PALSAR (JAXA).
Mangrove forests are a natural protective barrier against tropical storms and hurricanes. This research was conducted of the necessity to quantify and identify the current areas of mangroves on the Pacific as well as the Atlantic coast of Guatemala. The results show that both the Pacific and Atlantic Mangrove forests cover an area of approximately 18.904 hectares (189.04 square kilometers), of these only 27.07% (5117.73 hectares) are regulated and protected by the Protected Areas Act of Guatemala.