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:
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).
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.