Solidaridad Central America
Breakthroughs in sustainable practices
With the support of a national-technical committee, Honduras became the first country in the world to develop a national interpretation of the global principles and criteria of the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), using the guideline for countries producing less than 5% of total global palm oil production.
Despite challenging market and climatic conditions in 2013, there was a clear shift towards social and environmental sustainability initiatives. Producers of all sizes - growing palm oil, sugar cane, livestock, coffee - worked on strengthening their sustainable supply chains.
Main achievements and partnerships
Solidaridad-led innovations in strategic alliances, co-financing models, climate-smart agriculture and tool development have accelerated this shift in Central America and Mexico. Solidaridad Central America strengthened strategic partnerships with WWF, SNV and ILO, made a financial agreement with Henkel and signed an MOU with Unilever. Solidaridad is emerging as a regional leader that is able to scale up pilot projects into sector-wide interventions with the potential to transform entire industries and supply chains. In 2013 sectorwide palm oil projects were launched in Honduras and Guatemala, pilot projects in sugar cane and livestock in Mexico and Nicaragua, while the innovative Back (Bringing Agriculture, Carbon and Knowledge) to REDD project in Chiapas, Mexico helped create resilience for coffee farmers in the region.
All projects approved and launched in 2013 involved a range of actors, complex relationships, and urgent interventions that focus on sustainable social and environmental practices. Major achievements included developing the RSPO National Interpretation for Honduras, a Proforest-led process that involved public consultations with the private sector, government and civil society.
The commodities that are grown in region are vitally important for national economies and their impact on society, the environment and food security. All projects involve sustainable use of land and water, and labour and social issues are also increasingly important. Synergies and operational efficiencies with other regions are being sought.
Solidaridad Central America focused on monitoring and evaluation, knowledge management, and ensuring sufficient quality management capacity in order to strengthen project outcomes and increase the potential for their replication. Interregional cooperation includes network experience in palm oil, sugar cane, coffee, cocoa, livestock and gold. New staff with external communication capabilities will be available in 2014