Working Group on Sustainable Production Systems and Environmental Impact

The Working Group on Sustainable Production Systems and Environmental Impact (WG01) contributes to a better understanding of the main issues related to banana production and the development of a road map to improve environmental sustainability by reducing environmental impact in those production systems.

Objectives

  • build consensus on a comprehensive definition of sustainable banana production;
  • identify the most important sustainability issues in banana production, especially those related to the efficient use of natural resources, climate change and optimization;
  • compile and exchange information and knowledge about sustainability and related issues in banana production systems;
  • discuss potential solutions and come up with a prioritized list of options and innovations to address sustainability issues in banana production;
  • initiate and facilitate actions to promote sustainability in banana production systems;
  • set up collaborative pilot projects to boost the impacts of the innovation and learn from the actions and lessons;
  • exchange relevant information with other working groups of the World Banana Forum (WBF) and externally; and
  • through continuous collaboration between the TR4 Task Force, and the TR4 Global Network contribute to containing the spread of Fusarium Tropical race 4 (TR4), particularly through information sharing, awareness raising and collaboration at the global, regional and national levels.

 

Priorities and Activities:

1. Fusarium Tropical race 4 (TR4): The WBF and the TR4 Task Force implemented the TR4 Global Network (TR4GN), a leading platform for exchange and collaboration that plays the role of a knowledge hub for awareness and prevention on the spread of the fungus. TR4GN supports the development of global events such as webinars and conferences, project development, the collection, development and dissemination of tools, information, capacity development materials, and other resources that contribute to generating awareness and knowledge to contain TR4.

2. Agroecological Practices and Water Management Subgroup: The objective is to share technical knowledge and experiences on agroecological, organic and polyculture production methods, along with measures to adapt to climate change. The consensus in WG01 is that the chemically reliant conventional monoculture production of bananas is not sustainable, and that alternative agroecological methods of production need to be developed and implemented.

3. Carbon and Water Footprint Project: The WBF and the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ) implemented the first phase of the project which involved a methodological guide to measuring carbon and water footprints with a value chain approach. During the second phase of the project, the WBF implemented, developed and tested an online automated tool for improving the GHG accounting of the banana industry. Training and validation sessions took place in five Central American countries. The current third phase of the project is expanding the outreach of the tool to eight countries and will update and improve the design of the tool and related training materials.

4. Portal on sustainable agricultural practices: The WBF and IDH, The Sustainable Trade Initiative developed an online portal on sustainable agricultural practices to provide information and different experiences from around the world. As the WBF collects more good practices and success stories, the portal will continue to expand and share content.

5Climate Change Adaptation, Mitigation and Biodiversity Conservation Subgroup: The WBF and members of the former Action Alliance for Sustainable Bananas (ABNB) launched the Subgroup with a focus to promote climate change mitigation and adaptation measures as well as biodiversity conservation in banana supply chains. The subgroup will act as a knowledge sharing and collaboration platform and will promote stakeholder commitment on the adoption of science-based sustainable measures across the value chain.