“Green Paradise”: 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.
invalid
Departamento de El Paraíso, Honduras 
13.944485
-86.85283659999999
Project duration
2023 - 2027
Financed by
  • European Union EU

On December 12, 2015, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), reached a historic agreement at the COP 21 meeting in Paris. The Paris Agreement seeks to strengthen the global response to the climate change threat within the context of sustainable development and the efforts being made to eradicate poverty. In this agreement each nation pledged to intensify actions aimed at limiting the increase in greenhouse gas emissions and to promote climate resilience. Within a framework of common but differentiated responsibilities, each country that is part of the UNFCCC, based on its national circumstances, defines its own goals and efforts to meet this objective, and communicates them through the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC.)

Honduras needs to develop the agriculture and forestry sectors in a sustainable, profitable, and low-carbon emission way, without causing further deforestation. It must also promote resiliency to break the cycle of rural poverty. This is increasingly important if it is to gain access to the European market, where they are considering restricting imports of coffee, cocoa, timber, and livestock products from deforested areas. In this context, producers in the department of El Paraíso must improve their production systems by adopting Climate-Smart Practices and Technologies (CSPT) -including digital tools- to reduce their vulnerability to climate change, remain competitive in the market and to take advantage of incentives from carbon markets.

Promoting this process of decarbonisation of the economy requires a catalytic type management of public-private, multi-stakeholder and multi-level alliances.

To facilitate this transition in the Department of Paraíso, a comprehensive action plan has been formulated, where Swisscontact brings in its global experience in value chains and market systems; Solidaridad contributes their expertise in agroforestry systems and carbon markets; MAS Foundation helps in developing sustainable suppliers; IHCAFE and FEHCAFOR, contribute as sectoral technical instances; and MANORPA, brings its technical support at the municipal level, thus forming a solid platform to implement the actions.

The project contributes to the following country objectives:  

  • Honduras commits to a 16% reduction in emissions by 2030 in all sectors.
  • By 2030, Honduras commits to adopt an Investment Plan with a Climate Change Financing Strategy and a carbon market architecture.
  • By 2030, Honduras commits to promote the implementation of the "conservation and functional restoration of the rural landscape" encompassing 1.3 million hectares of forest in the restoration process.
  • By 2030, Honduras commits to reduce the consumption of firewood for household use by 39%, contributing to reduce deforestation.
  • By 2025, the country's Participatory Agri-food Tables will have been formed, and strengthened in adaptation measures, with their early warning systems in place.

The project

The project will focus on activities within the agricultural (coffee, cocoa, livestock) and forestry value chains, compatible with the landscape approach to reduce vulnerability to climate change, improve social inclusion, reduce deforestation, and increase forest restoration with better governance and local appropriation; reduce CO2 emissions and apply the the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA), which is a unilateral agreement between a timber exporting country and the European Union. It is part of the European Union (EU) Action Plan for Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT).

The proposal stimulates the markets and the adoption of Climate-Smart Practices and Technologies (CSPT) with adequate financial services, better water management systems, and the prevention and better control of forest fires. The project includes an effective monitoring system, a communication strategy, dissemination of good practices, and awareness raising through campaigns; it also strengthens local capacities and knowledge exchange.

By using a systemic approach to evaluate the vulnerability of the agricultural and forestry sectors due to climate change in the department of Paraíso, the project aims to break the vicious circle of increased emissions of Greenhouse Gases (GHG), deforestation, instability of productive assets and the decrease in production, which increases the perception of credit risk. This affects the livelihoods of families and increases migration.

The management of this situation is exacerbated due to weak governance of natural resources, lack of public-private coordination, deficient information systems and lack of knowledge and actions in the application of the regulatory framework towards GHG reduction.

Even though there is progress in the coffee sector by using climate-smart practices and technologies, producers currently have increased their dependence on external inputs, which increase environmental, financial and market access risks. On the other hand, the adjustment of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) demands a great effort of systemic, pragmatic, and coordinated strategic management, both at the national and local levels.

The expected impact is that 9,167 producers, of whom 30% are women, will carry out a vulnerability diagnosis of their farms and improve their resilience to climate change, contribute to the reforestation and conservation of 97,646 hectares and remain competitive in the markets.

The actions will reinforce the principles of good governance, including non-discrimination and participation. During the development of the activities, the participation of women and youth will be promoted. Swisscontact plans to co-create, with Nespresso, the social inclusion and gender strategy for the coffee cluster in the Department of El Paraíso. This will contribute positively to diagnosing gaps in relation to greater equality in the care economy, and in the transformative gender leadership in organisations as well as the economic empowerment of women.

Solidaridad has promoted the national gender policy in the coffee chain in Honduras, its experts will also support the prevention of child labour and human rights (issues which are also prioritised by the main buyers involved).

Project goals

The main objective of the project is to contribute to the NDC by considering the conservation of forests and biodiversity, the reduction of emissions, agroecology and the increase in carbon sequestration in the agricultural and forestry productive matrix of the Department of El Paraíso.

Specific objectives

  1. The promotion of more sustainable value chains/business models, free of deforestation and resilient in the agricultural (coffee, cocoa and livestock) and forestry sectors, with a gender focus.
  2. The implementation of traceable and transparent information systems; protocols, processes and mechanisms for the measurement, monitoring, reporting and verification of the carbon, environmental and water footprint, with a gender approach.
  3. The strengthening of territorial and sectoral governance and its linkage to national level, for the sustainable management of natural resources.
  4. Implementation of a knowledge management, communication, monitoring and evaluation system, with a gender approach.

Project partners

  • Solidaridad
  • MAS Foundation
  • IHCAFE
  • FEHCAFOR
  • MANORPA

Expected results

  • Adoption of climate-smart practices and technologies in the coffee, cocoa, and livestock chains and in the forestry sector
  • Improved access to differentiated markets with better quality and/or certified products.
  • Increased access to financing (including microcredits) for environmentally friendly investments.
  • Design and implementation of a transparent information and traceability system as well as a robust monitoring system for the adaptive management
  • Spaces will be established for multi-stakeholder dialogue to manage agreements on land use and prevention of deforestation in El Paraíso.
  • Strengthening of local, municipal and departmental institutions to fulfill their role in the sustainable management of natural resources.
  • Establishment of sectoral and territorial regulatory frameworks conducive to achieving a carbon neutral or carbon positive economy in the department of El Paraíso.
  • Design and implement an advocacy agenda on public policies within the framework of the country's decarbonisation strategy.

News

Honduras
Sustainable agriculture
07.06.2023
A new project contributes to the decarbonisation of the agricultural and forestry sector in Honduras
The new project “Paraíso Verde” was recently launched and aims to contribute to the decarbonisation of the agricultural and forestry sector in the department of El Paraíso, Honduras.