The Gremial de Palmicultores de Guatemala also presented the first study on the Estimation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the production of palm oil in Guatemala.
Guatemala, August 28, 2018. The Gremial de Palmicultores de Guatemala, GREPALMA, and its partners, presented the Environmental and Climate Change Policy. During the event the official signing of the declaration was made by the Board of Directors and partners of GREPALMA and as a witness of honor the representative of Cámara del Agro.
The elaboration of the policy was made within the framework of the cooperation agreement signed with the Low Emissions Development project of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Chamber of Agriculture (CAMAGRO), with the objective that Through its partners, strategic actions and proposals are implemented to achieve comprehensive development and low emissions of greenhouse gases in the sector, while promoting competitiveness and sustainable development.
The objective of the Policy is to have strategic guidelines; principles, axes and lines of action for the improvement of environmental management of the palm sector in Guatemala. In this way, it seeks to strengthen the actions promoted by GREPALMA to minimize the impacts on resources: water, soil, air and biological diversity; as well as, for the mitigation and adaptation of climate change.
The significant environmental aspects of the policy have been addressed in eight strategic axes, with their respective lines of action: Axis 1: Water management in plantations and beneficiation plants, Axis 2: Actions for mitigation and adaptation to climate change, Axis 3: Management of organic and inorganic solid waste, Axis 4: Soil management and conservation, Axis 5: Conservation and restoration of biological diversity, Axis 6: Social relations, Axis 7: Systematization and dissemination of information on the environment and climate change, and Axis 8: Capacity development.
One of the main approaches of GREPALMA is the continuous improvement of the social and environmental practices of the Guatemalan palmiculture, with the aim of being a sustainable industry and a benchmark in the region. “This Policy is a sample of the commitment that the union has in favor of the sustainability of the palm oil sector in the country. The palm producers associated with GREPALMA and the companies that own beneficiation plants carry out important environmental management actions that contribute to mitigate and adapt to climate change, to which Guatemala is very vulnerable due to its geographical position”, explained Susana Siekavizza, Executive Director of GREPALMA.
On the other hand, a study was presented for the first time showing the estimation of Greenhouse Gases (GHG) emissions in the production of palm oil in Guatemala. This study was possible thanks to the technical support of the USAID Development with Low Emissions Project.
The estimated carbon footprint for palm oil production in Guatemala is 0.147 tons of CO2 equivalent per tonne of crude palm oil (tCO2e / tACP) composed of 0.133 tCO2e / tACP in the agricultural phase and 0.014 tCO2e / tACP for the agricultural phase. industrial phase. Oil production emissions in Guatemala represent 0.45% of total national emissions, which is lower compared to other palm oil producing countries.
The data of the analysis presented were collected between May and August 2017, focusing on the activities and products of the 2016 harvest with information from 19 associated companies, with 13 of the participants only from the agricultural phase and 6 from the integrated plantation process to the beneficiary. . The use of fossil fuels, the use and generation of electricity, the application of fertilizers and other lower emission sources were taken into account.
It should be noted that 21% of the companies reported the generation of energy from biogas, agroindustrial waste, biomass or solar panels. This practice represents a reduction in emissions due to the consumption of electricity or its generation through fossil fuels.
With the implementation of the Climate Change Policy and the study of GHG Estimation, GREPALMA’s partners are expected to be leaders in environmental management and mitigation and adaptation to climate change, becoming benchmarks for agro-industry in Latin America. In addition, these tools will make visible the actions and advances of the sector and also standardize the goals.