Central America Donors Forum supports collective action for palm oil

The Central America Donors Forum (CADF), an initiative of Seattle International Foundation, is the key networking and learning space to advance philanthropy and development efforts in Central America. This year, Solidaridad was chosen to facilitate a panel discussion highlighting the Mesoamerican Palm Oil Alliance (MAPA) as an innovative, transformative partnership model for the palm oil sector in Central America and Mexico. The 2017 CADF meeting, held in Panama City in October, brought together over 200 leaders from business, philanthropy, government and civil society to discuss priority issues and successful models of development, and to explore co-investment for social impact.

In the session “Speed and Scale: Transforming Agricultural Partnerships for Environmental, Social and Economic Sustainability in Central America”, Omar Palacios, Solidaridad´s country manager in Honduras, moderated the discussion and diverse perspectives from select guests such as:

  • Marco Tulio Figueroa, General Manager of MATUFIRO
  • Andreas Lehnhoff, Director of World Wildlife Fund Mesoamerica
  • Jurriaan Middelhoff, Deputy-Ambassador and Counselor for Economic Affairs for the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Panamá
  • Bernhard Roehrs, Corporate Director of AgroAmérica

The panelists, representing a diverse cross-section of private sector, civil society and government stakeholders, explored how multi-stakeholder platforms, like MAPA, can accelerate the uptake of best practices in palm oil and other agri-commodity sectors, create unprecedented engagement in private-sector sustainability initiatives, close certification gaps, and bring innovation and improved visibility to Central American farmers, communities and industry.

Mesoamerican Palm Oil Alliance

MAPA is leading the way in promoting sustainable palm oil production in Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. Working side-by-side, palm industry partners, civil society organizations and government agencies are helping ensure best practices along the value chain to ensure environmental, social and economic sustainability for farmers, communities, companies and consumers. Mesoamerica has the potential to become a leader in sustainable palm oil production, and the MAPA platform helps ensure inclusivity, improve business performance, facilitate cross-pollination, and create flows of information and innovation to optimize the palm oil sector transformation.

Industry, producers, governments, and civil society who depend on agricultural commodities must play a critical role in ensuring the economic, social and environmental sustainability of traditionally monoculture crops. This panel discussion made evident the dedication of multiple stakeholders to a more sustainable cultivation of oil palm. At the end of the event, Roehrs said, “The experience and enthusiasm of the entire Solidaridad team is very encouraging and necessary to make the cultivation of the oil palm more sustainable, social and inclusive”.

Learn more about Solidaridad programmes in Central America