Climate change and adaptation to climate change is the main topic of the Action Alliance for Sustainable Bananas (ABNB). The aim is to make the banana supply chain more sustainable and, in this context, also more adapted to climate change.
The scientific basis for this work of the ABNB is the new study “Climate change and its effects on banana production in Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, and Ecuador” by HFFA Research GmbH and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). The study was commissioned by GIZ and ABNB and financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
The entire study is available for download in English. You can find the download link here.
The study is currently being translated into Spanish and will be available in Spanish by the end of March 2021.
The results of the study were presented in an online event on 10 December by the authors Dr. Steffen Noleppa (HFFA Research GmbH) and Prof. Dr. Christoph Gornott (PIK). The presentation slides can be downloaded here.
Overview of the study
The study looks at the specific banana-producing regions of four Latin American countries and examines how climate change has already affected them and will continue to affect them over the next 50 years.
It shows very clearly that devastating tropical storms such as the recent storms Iota and Eta in Central America are not an isolated event, but will increase significantly over the next 50 years, creating major uncertainties for banana production. In Honduras, half of all banana production has been lost and thousands of hectares of banana growing areas have also been affected in Nicaragua and Guatemala. The study shows that extreme weather events can destroy up to 80% or even the entire harvest.
With regard to yield losses caused by, among other things, changing temperatures and rainfall, it becomes clear that in the countries examined, climate change might only be beneficial to parts of the banana-growing region of El Oro in Ecuador. All other regions are at least somewhat or severely affected.
However, if other factors, such as the spread of plant diseases and fungi driven by climate change, are taken into account, it becomes clear that all regions without exception must expect yield losses ranging from -3% to -20%.
The study begins with overview chapters on the effects of climate change on agriculture in Latin America and observations and projections of climate change trends in selected banana-producing regions. Subsequently, through ex-post analysis and projections, the impact of climate change on banana production yields from 1990 to the present and until 2070 in selected banana-producing regions is determined. Subsequently, other climate change-driven factors influencing banana yields are investigated. The study concludes with recommendations of climate change adaptation measures for private and public decision makers.