Reducing carbon and water footprints in banana plantations

The banana sector is currently facing interconnected challenges that are deteriorating the resilience of ecosystems in banana plantations worldwide. In this sense, carbon and water reduction strategies are becoming fundamental for the banana industry to prevent and mitigate environmental impacts and to adapt to climate change and adverse conditions, constituting key sustainability indicators to assess environmental management and improvements from cradle-to-grave. The banana producing and exporting regions are becoming more vulnerable to increased climate variability, posing a threat to banana farmers in terms of yields, stability and incomes, raising the need to develop sound strategies to reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions and water consumption in the banana value chain.

Members of the WBF acknowledge the contribution of agriculture in the total global GHG emissions and the consumption of freshwater in the economic activity, both stressed in International Climate Conferences, having the agricultural sector a high mitigation potential and including both topics at the top of the WBF agenda.The project aims to produce a practical instrument to be applicable at a global scale and to build solid foundations for banana farmers and stakeholders of the industry, regardless of their location and size, interested in initiating the design of low-carbon and sustainable water strategies, improving their learning curve.

The project also intends to introduce transformational approaches to timely promote environmental sustainability with a value chain approach, including stakeholders such as producers, traders, NGOs, research institutions, certification bodies, governments and retailers, promoting and strengthening environmental governance.

The methodological guide to reduce carbon and water footprints also includes experiences and demonstrations of Costa Rica, leading country in GHG emission reduction in the banana industry, aiming to replicate the lessons learned worldwide. The guide has been officially endorsed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG) and the Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE) through its Climate Change Unit, and it is funded by the German development agency GIZ, through the Acción Clima II programme in Costa Rica.



  • Produce a practical guide to quantify, measure and reduce carbon and water footprint in banana plantations.
  • Promote knowledge transfer and best practices among banana farmers.
  • Promote the sustainable use of natural resources, and an efficient and effective water management.
  • Prepare organizations to comply with agricultural and environmental standards at national and international levels.
  • Build climate resilience into banana supply chains.
  • Strengthen national policies in terms of low-carbon strategies and water stewardship.
  • Raise awareness and educate consumers on the efforts of the global banana industry in reducing carbon emissions and impact on water use and management.



  • The banana industry has a specific technical guide to manage the carbon and water footprints in its operations, which will allow to standardize the management of traceable information systems and inventories, estimates and the implementation of practices to reduce emissions, water consumption and adverse impacts on water in productive activities and transportation of fruit to the port.
  • The project has been supported by the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG) and the Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE) of Costa Rica though its Climate Change Unit, strengthening the government’s low-carbon policies and facilitating its implementation and adoption of best practices in the country.
  • Support from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to start the "Design of Guidelines for a Low-Carbon Musaceae Strategy for Costa Rica", aiming to implement mitigation, adaptation and resilience actions in the industry focusing on risk management and the development of a governance structure for Musaceae.
  • The strategy will include the development of a Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMA) for bananas, with the purpose of facilitating fundraising, the implementation of scalable pilot projects and exchange of lessons learned, which are expected to accelerate the conversion towards a low-carbon production.


The project is currently ongoing and new partners are welcome to join for the capacity-building and validation phases.





Institutional support


Technical implementation