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3 things you can do to make a difference:

SAN Climate Module

Agriculture generates a significant portion of the world’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and irresponsible farming practices—such as soil erosion, clear-cutting and uncontrolled agrochemical use—exacerbate the problem. By harnessing the transformative power of markets to promote climate-smart practices, the Rainforest Alliance is working to create sustainable landscapes and support farming communities. When leading food companies make commitments to increase their sourcing of sustainable products, the number of farmers involved in a particular location can jump from a few hundred to a few hundred thousand. When these producers implement climate-smart adaptation and mitigation practices on their farms, the positive impact can be felt at the landscape level.

In order to achieve this vision, the Rainforest Alliance and the other members of the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN)—the international coalition of nonprofit organization that manages Rainforest Alliance certification—launched the SAN Climate Module in February 2011. Building upon the sustainable farming practices at the core of Rainforest Alliance certification, the add-on certification module highlights additional activities, including 15 critical criteria that have been shown to help farms mitigate climate change and increase resilience to its impacts. These steps include:

  • Planting and/or conserving trees and woody biomass to maintain and increase carbon stocks
  • Conserving soil carbon by recycling crop residues, reducing tillage and optimizing water retention and infiltration
  • Developing social and environmental farm-management systems that assess climate risks and vulnerabilities and include plans to mitigate and adapt to climate change
  • Recording annual data about the sources of GHG emissions and changes in land use
  • Treating wastewater to reduce methane emissions and implementing conservation practices such as water harvesting and rainwater storage
  • Applying waste treatment procedures, such as the production of organic fertilizer and biomass energy generation, that minimize emissions
  • Working with local institutions and associations to enhance a community’s capacity to adapt to climate change

In December 2011, Finca El Platanillo, a coffee farm in San Marcos, Guatemala, became the world’s first farm to be verified for its compliance with the module. As of May 2014, thousands of farms across Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Ghana, Guatemala and Uganda have become SAN Climate Module Certified, representing more than 73,000 acres of climate-smart farmland.

3 things you can do to make a difference:

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