Climate for Biodiversity: Reducing Supply Chain Deforestation
Partners: European Union – Action for Sustainable Landscape Management, National Institute of Forest Conservation and Development, Protected Areas and Wildlife, Honduras (Instituto Nacional de Conservación y Desarrollo Forestal, Áreas Protegidas y Vida Silvestre), Zamorano Panamerican Agriculture University, Honduras (Escuela Panamericana de Agricultura), Foundation for Rural Business Development, Honduras (Fundación para el Desarrollo Empresarial Rural), National University of Agriculture, Honduras (Universidad Nacional de Agricultura), Presidential Climate Change Office, Climate Plus (ClimaPlus).
Key thematic areas
The project maps onto the Global Public Goods and Challenges thematic programme of the European Union.
Agricultural producers affected by high poverty levels and food insecurity migrate to the reserve in search of improved livelihoods. In doing so, they engage in agriculture, mainly coffee, and livestock production or ranching that result in deforestation and biodiversity loss. Between 2000 and 2016, land-use change from migrants resulted in the loss of 420 km2 of forest, representing a 7% loss of the biosphere reserve and creating tensions with local communities over resource use.
To contribute to the reduction of deforestation, the protection of biodiversity and the improvement of food security of local populations in a 60 km2 area of the Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve.
The Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve is one of the few remnants of tropical rainforest in Central America. It supports indigenous communities who have preserved their traditional way of life, and is highly rich in varied plants and wildlife. The reserve covers 9,871 km2 and protects the entire watershed of the Río Plátano, from the headwaters in the mountains to the river mouth on the Caribbean coast. It forms an integral part of a significantly larger conservation complex that adjoins the Bosawas Biosphere Reserve in Nicaragua. Jointly they constitute the largest contiguous forest area in Latin America north of the Amazon. The area contains a remarkable range of ecosystems, plants and animals – from the dense rainforests in the mountains, to wetlands, savannah and coastal lagoons, which contain over 700 species of vertebrates.
The project contributes to reduced deforestation, the protection of biodiversity and improved food security of local populations in the Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve. It promotes sustainable and integrated landscape management systems in a pilot area of 60 km2 in the reserve. A biodiversity management plan is being developed that will integrate the relevance of biodiversity to agricultural production in terms of animal variety, plants and micro-organisms that are necessary to sustain food production.
The project is promoting the implementation of silvo-pastoral and agro-forestry systems with 24 producer families in the pilot area to reduce the pressure caused by extensive agricultural production. It is promoting climate-friendly agricultural practices and climate-smart technologies such as improved fodder variety production and planting grasses and shade trees in the livestock and coffee sectors.
The development of a credit culture necessary for the growth of household economies is being supported through education on financing. The introduction and training in “green” credit culture is specifically targeting local people who are developing agribusinesses in their communities. In addition, the project is developing an innovative and inclusive climate finance mechanism for livestock and coffee producers that will provide access to credit linked to land restoration and reforestation.
The project is also identifying, mapping and restoring degraded land areas in partnership with the National Institute of Forest Conservation and Development. At the same time, the project aims to clearly elucidate the relationship between economic and environmental migration, deforestation and local community livelihoods in the biosphere through, for example, the development of an assessment of ecosystem services in the area and mapping biodiversity and food-producing areas that need protection.
Dolan Josué Castro Cortés