El Paraíso, Honduras: building partnerships for a sustainable future

Sustainable agriculture
Decarbonisation is an important step in the battle against climate change and involves the reduction or elimination of greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture, energy, transport, and other industries. During the EU-financed Paraíso Verde project in Honduras, Swisscontact is supporting this process in the coffee, cacao, livestock, and forestry value chains. Swisscontact is ensuring that alliances are formed in the region that promote practices and technologies to better adapt and become more resilient to climate change, and thus contribute to the decarbonisation of the El Paraíso department.

Additionally, processes are fostered that make it easier to comply with the EU’s new deforestation regulation (EUDR). For example, 9,167 producers are receiving assistance in reforestation and for the protection of over 97,000 hectares in the region. 

Young plants for reforestation

Changes require collaboration

Swisscontact promotes collaboration between companies, governments, and non-governmental organisations in order to develop innovative and effective solutions. Within these alliances, participants together analyse the challenges and agree on solutions to reduce carbon emissions, foster carbon sequestration, protect biodiversity, and enhance a region’s resilience.

Training on the topic of forestry law
Coordination workshop between organisations

Decarbonisation: a more resilient coffee, from bean to cup

A recent study of 1,978 coffee producers in Honduras, 24% of whom are women, revealed alarming figures: nearly 66% of producers are under critical or highly critical strain in terms of their ability to withstand threats such as climate change, pests, or shortages of organic fertilizers. 

These results underscore the urgent necessity of implementing effective decarbonisation measures in order to strengthen producers and foster the well-being of rural agricultural communities. In addition, practices need to be introduced that help fight off pests and illnesses while preserving soil health and biodiversity in coffee plantations. Equally important is ensuring access to resources and organic fertilizers for more sustainable agriculture.  

Women’s participation is a decisive factor in the sustainable development of coffee production. Initiatives and programmes to foster gender equity in the coffee value chain are essential in comprehensive efforts to fight climate change. 

Coffee producer
Coffee producer

Cacao as a driver of sustainability

The cacao industry has become an important player in the fight against climate change and thus has become a key sector for finding sustainable solutions. An analysis conducted at the start of the Paraíso Verde project in Honduras clearly showed how cacao farmers understand climate challenges and intend to face them. They showed considerable interest in fostering environmentally-friendly practices and actively participated in the decarbonisation campaign.

The analysis Swisscontact conducted in El Paraíso revealed that of 132 cacao producers (28% of whom are women), 82% were vulnerable and unable to adapt sufficiently to extreme temperatures or irregular flowering, moreover they were unable to replant in time or apply sufficient quantities of organic fertiliser. Therefore, it is important to develop specific strategies to improve cacao farmers’ resilience.  

The cacao sector is an example of how environmental responsibility and awareness can be tied to the active search for sustainable solutions. The commitment on the part of cacao farmers and their determination to face the challenges presented by climate change not only benefits the cacao sector, but it also helps in global efforts to foster sustainable food production.

Cocoa technician in the field with cocoa producers
Cocoa producer

Practices and technologies to adapt livestock to climate change

According to a sectoral analysis, 63 percent of livestock farmers in El Paraíso department exhibited a normal or moderately critical degree of adaptation and vulnerability. It turns out that fundamental practices such as silvopastoral systems (livestock production combined with tree and pasture cultivation), the use of silage, clippings, or biological pest control along with organic fertilisers are not in place. The lack of modern agricultural technologies and practices shows how training programmes and technical support are essential to improving the resilience and sustainability of the livestock sector in the region. 

Livestock producers exchange at field day.
In collaboration with the Paraíso Verde project, Manorpa is teaching the topic of forestry law to the municipal units in the department of El Paraíso.

El Paraíso – a more verdant paradise

Along the way towards a more verdant paradise, the Swisscontact project, supported by 13 registered forestry cooperatives, is investigating initiatives and challenges to promote sustainability and environmental protection in El Paraíso department. These organisations are the stewards of natural resources and play a key role in fostering sustainable harvests of valuable forestry products. Their commitment to maintaining biodiversity and mitigating climate change for the whole community is a source of inspiration.

Sustainable agriculture
“Paraíso Verde“: decarbonising the agricultural and forestry sector in the department of El Paraíso
The project will focus on agricultural and forestry value chains, compatible with the agroecological landscape approach, to reduce vulnerability to climate change, improve social inclusion, reduce deforestation and CO2 emissions, and increase forest restoration with better governance and local appropriation.