Avoided Deforestation in the Coffee Forest in El Salvador
Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD)
The project Avoided Deforestation in the Coffee Forest in El Salvador (or the Coffee and Environment Initiative) is a mechanism that looks to stop the deforestation of coffee forest, which every year loses area due to the economic problems suffered by the coffee growers. The project covers an area of 53,560.63 ha. and the land is privately owned. The project has a lifetime of 16 years, and the project monitoring period verified is for the implementation of project activities over the years 2008, 2009, and 2010.
In response to the economic problems, the BMI (the Multisectorial Investment Bank) has set up two trust funds, FICAFE and FINSAGRO that aim to help the coffee producers. These trust funds collect and organize the commercial loans that private banks of the country had issued to coffee growers until 2001. Prior to the completion of this verification, BMI was converted to BANDESAL (Banco de Desarrollo de El Salvador), and the BMI organization no longer exists.
For the carbon project, a further trust fund was set up, the FIDECAM, which will give an economic incentive to the coffee growers by reducing their yearly costs of debts of FICAFE and FINSAGRO by up to 30 percent. In turn the growers will assume the commitment of not cutting the forest and maintain the coffee activity, stopping the actual rate of deforestation and change in the use of the coffee forest, avoiding the emission of the GHG of the areas that will not be deforested and keeping the carbon stock inside them. In late 2007 project started when the participating coffee growers received a relief of 30 percent of their debt serving payments for the year 2006-2007.
The coffee forest can be defined like an ecosystem of coffee cultivation, where the main components are trees and bushes that contribute to the financial, social and environmental sustainability. This can be “simple or mono-specific” when only one specific tree or bush is used in the system, and “mixed” when there are several bushes or trees of the same type. It can produce and show the following benefits:
- Capture and reduction of the GHG
- Water reservoir protection and runoff water
- Protection of the biodiversity
- Protection and reduction of the natural disasters and erosions
The project is an initiative of the national coffee sector with the support of BANDESAL, and is based on the commitment to the no-deforestation nor change in the use of the soil for land that presently is covered by the coffee forest, which includes around 160 thousand hectares, belongs to close to 19,000 coffee producers who have credits with FICAFE and FINSAGRO, and to date are accounted in the pre-registry around 3,600 producers with a production area of over 70 thousand hectares located at different heights, which could increase as more producers become adhered. This land is distributed throughout the country, but is concentrated in all areas of coffee production.”
The Initiative contemplates the consolidation (through a single registry managed by the Salvadoran Coffee Council) of a whole coffee forest area in El Salvador, belonging to the debtors of FICAFE and FINSAGRO to commercialize the avoided deforestation rate through a coffee grower commitment to keep their crop in exchange for an economic compensation addressed to the debt payment. The emission reductions from avoided deforestation will be sold as “VER” (Verified Emission Reduction) in the voluntary carbon market, generated by countries and enterprises looking to support the reduction of greenhouse effect gas emissions outside the Kyoto Protocol. Funds captured will be deposited to the debts of users of FICAFE and FINSAGRO, and will reduce their financial obligations, improving their sustainability.
Banco de Desarrollo de El Salvador as Trustee of FIDECAM
Verified conformance with the Methodology titled “Emission Reductions Calculations for the FICAFE Project Version 04 2008” (RA-VER-FIDECAM-015263).