By Ernesto Herrera, Director General of Reforestamos Mexico, President of the Mesoamerican Committee of Members of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and Member of the ANDE Central America and Mexico Steering Committee
On May 20, Honduras reaffirmed its climate commitment to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). This marks its renewed commitment to the 2015 Paris Agreement, where world leaders agreed to mitigate change climate. Among the proposals made by the Ministry of the Environment and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the high importance of intersectoral collaboration and shared responsibility to achieve environmental objectives stands out.
Honduras responds well to global signals. The country recognizes both how much can be lost from climate change and how much can be gained by laying the foundation for nature to provide climate solutions. The deforestation situation is serious in Honduras, leading the country to commit to reduce firewood consumption by 39% by 2030. However, Honduras, like many Central American countries, faces systemic problems such as poverty, violence, lack of opportunities in rural areas, corruption, which complicate their climate commitments.
Fighting climate change is a multi-sector task. Therefore, the private sector has a lot to contribute as well. According to the recent Honduras Rural Ecosystem Snapshot published by ANDE, Honduras still lacks much social innovation that could impact the environment, as well as measure the impact of existing companies.
If Honduras wants to move faster to strengthen its rural development, generate opportunities to stop migration, and create landscapes that are more resilient to climate change, Honduras must sign and ratify the Escazú Agreement that seeks to ensure access to information, participation, and protection of environmental defenders in Latin America and the Caribbean.
In doing so, Honduras would be forced to create the enabling conditions, not only to make its progress transparent to meet its nationally determined commitments (NDC), but also to facilitate governance and multisectoral collaboration to manage its territory in a more integrated manner. Ultimately this could provide greater certainty to investors in cultivating the further development of sustainable rural companies with a positive impact on the climate and biodiversity.
This piece is published in response to the article published by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) on May 21, 2021.