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Sharing experiences on decarbonization of the agricultural and forestry sector in Costa Rica

  • Academics, researchers, and government officials participated in a Franco-Costa Rican seminar that analyzed the issue.

December 11, 2019. Costa Rica is the first country to assume the commitment to become carbon neutral by 2050 and has a decarbonization plan. In order to support the implementation of this plan, on December 4, the Franco-Costa Rican seminar entitled Decarbonization of the agricultural and forestry sector in Costa Rica was held.

In this space, researchers from the Center for International Cooperation in Agronomic Research for Development (CIRAD) and CATIE (Tropical Agricultural  Research and Higher Education Center), academics from the Technological Institute of Costa Rica (ITCR, its Spanish acronym) and officials from the Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE), the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG, its Spanish acronym), the National Forest Financing Fund (FONAFIFO, its Spanish acronym) and the Coffee Institute of Costa Rica (ICAFE, its Spanish acronym) shared different experiences and proposals related to the issue of decarbonization in agriculture and forests.

"A significant percentage of greenhouse gas emissions come from the agricultural sector, due to changes in land use, so the issue of achieving an agricultural and forestry sector low in emissions, which produces and conserves at the same time, is of utmost importance," said Muhammad Ibrahim, director general of CATIE, at the opening of the event.

During the first session of the seminar, which was organized by CATIE, the French Embassy in Costa Rica, ITCR and CIRAD, the decarbonization plan of the country was presented, as well as the strategies of the French Development Agency (FDA) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), entities that would be financing the Government of Costa Rica in the implementation of this plan.

In the second session, national experiences in climate change mitigation were presented, such as NAMA coffee and NAMA livestock. Then, the third session dealt with decarbonization proposals for the future, contemplating the potential of forests, soils and blue carbon.

Finally, in the last session, tools were presented that can be used to strengthen the implementation of decarbonization measures in the agricultural sector, for example, payment for environmental services and monitoring, reporting and verification methodology.

"The issue of agriculture in the fight against climate change is fundamental. It is part of the problem, but it must also be part of the solution. There are scientific solutions and more needs to be discovered, that is where cooperation between Costa Rican and French scientists can be key," said Philippe Vinogradoff, France's ambassador to Costa Rica.

In this sense, Baptiste Mesa, project coordinator at FDA, Regional Directorate of Mexico, said that FDA will support the decarbonization plan of Costa Rica in two main axes: agriculture and management of territories, as well as livestock and transport.

"Decarbonization is everyone's business, just as the impacts of climate change are common, so it is important to come together and have cooperation between academia, the public and private sectors, the government, etc. This plan is of Costa Rica, of the Ticos, but it is also the plan of the world because it is an example to follow for the other countries," said Mesa.

Also, Frederic Gay, CIRAD researcher, commented that Costa Rica's decarbonization plan represents an opportunity for institutions such as CATIE and CIRAD to provide technical assistance and thus implement at the national level what they have been working for years at the farm or territory level.

The Government of Costa Rica presented the decarbonization plan in February 2019, aspiring to become a modern, green, emission-free, resilient and inclusive economy. Planning for decarbonization guides the process to establish the route between current targets and 2050 consistent with meeting the objectives of Agenda 2030 and the Paris Accord. The actions are presented in 10 sectoral axes with policy packages in three periods: start (2018-2022), inflection (2023-2030) and massive deployment (2031-2050), as well as eight cross-cutting strategies to promote change. Find the full plan at https://minae.go.cr/images/pdf/Plan-de-Descarbonizacion-1.pdf




More information:

Frederic Gay
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Written by:

Karla Salazar Leiva
Information Technology and Communication
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