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Honduras, Aprosacao Reforestation Project : certification update

Aprosacao Reforestation Project ran its last review from Gold Standard* before Initial Certification. This community reforestation and agroforestry project with small-scale cocoa farmers allowed 200,000 trees to be planted between 2012 and 2015.

The Aprosacao project in Olancho, Honduras is developed in partnership with cocoa producers from the Aprosacao cooperative. Reconverted from cattle breeders to cocoa organic farming, the producers have been planting trees in their parcels, producing organic cocoa within agroforestry models.

This project, initiated by the chocolate maker Chocolats Halba and locally conducted with the APROSACAO cooperative and the local NGO Helvetas, aims at developing a high-quality fair and organic (organic farming, agroforestry) cocoa production in Honduras.

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In 1998, Hurricane Mitch devastated 70% of crops in Honduras, causing irreversible destruction of cocoa fields in the north and a subsequent development of a new area of cocoa production in the eastern part of the country.

Twenty years later, the production of cocoa in Honduras still faces many environmental (deforestation, use of pesticides, reduced soil fertility, water depletion, climate change) and social (trafficking and child labor particular) issues. PUR Projet supports the chocolate maker Chocolats Halba and Coop Group in the implementation of a sustainable cocoa sector in the Patuca region in Honduras.

Patuca National Park is the second largest area of protection of the biodiversity of the Mesoamerican corridor: it is of decisive importance for the flora and fauna as well as the groundwater balance of the whole region.

The APROSACAO cooperative of cocoa farmers and the homeground NGO Helvetas are the local partners of the project. They aim to develop a high-quality fair (fair trade, protection and empowerment of people) and ecofriendly (organic) cocoa pipeline for Halba, helping farmers to develop agroforestry or silvopastoral models for their livestock.

Main guidelines of the project are the agroforestry plantations (fruit trees, woods and cocoa) on 150 hectares in partnership with 150 farm families; technical support and training of the producers by Helvetas; the creation of a collective (cooperative type) to manage the fermentation, drying and marketing of cocoa; support process improvement cocoa processing, especially drying and fermentation.

Main benefits are:

– extended crop areas without deforestation and increased volume of cocoa production;

– short-term profits due to the diversification of sources of income (sale of fruit), reforestation and continuous improvement of the lives of cocoa farmers (to facilitate the introduction of cocoa);

– continuous improvement of quality and quality control of construction.

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* Gold Standard (GS) is one of the voluntary schemes that has been implemented worldwide. Projects performed under this standard are conducted in line with the methodologies and technical principles defined by by ISO 14064 and 14065. These projects need to be validated and verified by an independent body that has been accredited by the UNFCCC or the American National Standards institute.

Validation against the technical requirements defined by GS assures that all generated carbon credits are in line with the principles of additionality, transparency, permanence and traceability. Once the project is registered with the GS, its information is made publicly available.

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