GABLES, FLORIDA – According to IUCN, the World Conservation Union, “80% of original forest that covered the earth 8000 years ago has been cleared, fragmented, or degraded by modern society”. Over nine million hectares of forest lands are lost each year throughout the world.
One Banana recognizes that the preservation of the world’s forests is crucial, both for planetary and socioeconomic reasons. “Forests are critically important for life to exist on this planet – they literally allow the planet to breathe. Forests help reduce air pollution, greenhouse gases, and help to prevent soil loss and erosion”, said Bernhard Roehrs, Corporate Communications Director for One Banana. “We believe that we can make a difference in our communities by taking steps to educate and actively making a difference.”
With the support of the Private Investigation Institute on Climate Change –ICC and the participation of the Community Development Committee (COCODE), One Banana employees, along with the local community recently reforested a farm in La Gomera Escuintla, for conservation purposes.
Several native species were used in the reforestation of the area, such as Ramón, `Chichique`, Cordia gerascanthus L. (volador), hormigo, mahogany, cedar, raintree, and others. This initiative will contribute to the conservation of these local species that are currently scarce in the region.
This reforestation is part of One Banana’s adaptation program to climate change and supports the activities conducted by ICC in the framework of the Comprehensive Basin Management program.
Believing that education is the key to lasting change, One Banana also is taking steps in educating their employees and community through a diploma course “Community Adaptation to Climate Change”. The course was presented to One Banana workers and community leaders of the Guatemala southwestern “trifinio”, with the objective of strengthening local capacities and adopting adaptation measures in the face of imminent climate change.
The course was presented in partnership with the Asociación del Trifinio Suroccidente –ASODITSO, the Association of Independent Banana Producers (APIB), and the Institute of Climate Change (ICC). The program covered comprehensive basin management, adaptation measures to climate change and risk disaster management. The methodology consisted of lectures, field visits and practical activities.
The General Director of the Institute of Climate Change, Alex Guerra, One Banana’s Chairman, Gustavo Bolaños, along with representatives of the municipality of La Blanca, the Ministry of Agriculture, MAGA, and community leaders from the communities of Pomal, Carrizales, Valle Lirio, El Reparo, Colonia Díaz, Villa Flores, Morenas, Los Encuentros, Troje, Tilapa, Santa Fe, Palmar II, Pueblo Nuevo, Cerritos, Chiquirines, Colonia Barillas, of the municipalities of Coatepeque, Quetzaltenango; La Blanca, San Marcos; and Retalhuleu, Retalhuleu participated in the closing ceremonies and issue of the diplomas for the program.
In his closing speech, Gustavo Bolaños said: “At One Banana, we are excited about this type of training because we believe it is important to be informed and prepared in the face of climate change, and believe it takes a partnership with our local communities.” For more information about One Banana please visit www.onebananas.com.
ABOUT ONE BANANA
ONE BANANA is a family-owned company with operations in the United States, Guatemala, Europe, Peru, Mexico and Ecuador. It has emerged as a leader in socially responsible and environmentally sustainable farming. The Company has implemented rigorously developed workplace safety standards, the latest water conservation and rainwater collection technologies, and industry-leading worker benefits. ONE Banana’s corporate social responsibility projects include providing access to medical clinics, nutritional programs, and education that have benefited more than 19,000 people, across twelve rural communities in Guatemala.
Source: ONE BANANA