ABNB Open Meeting 2020: The sustainable banana and climate change – how do this go together?
Water shortages, temperature fluctuations, extreme weather conditions – climate change does not spare banana production. Therefore, the ABNB focused on this topic in its virtual Open ABNB Meeting on 29 September and successfully entered into a constructive exchange with many stakeholders. The ABNB aims to make supply chains more sustainable and thus more adapted to climate change.
Sebastian Lesch, Head of the Department 121 for “International Agricultural Policy, Agriculture and Innovation” of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), officially opened the event and welcomed the ABNB’s approach to anchor climate change adaptation measures in banana production in standard and certification systems on a long-term basis.
Climate change: some will win, some will lose
Studies by HFFA Research and the University of Bonn provide the scientific basis for a selection of such measures:
Dr. Steffen Noleppa, together with his team and in cooperation with Dr. Christoph Gornott of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, has studied climate change and its effects on regional banana production in Colombia (Antioquia, La Guajira, Magdalena), Ecuador (El Oro), Costa Rica (Heredia) and the Dominican Republic (Azua, Valverde). In particular, the specific regional consideration of individual banana regions is not covered by the research conducted so far. It has brought new findings which may be of decisive importance for banana producers when they have to make decisions on climate adaptation measures, because: climate change will have very different effects on individual regions.
In Colombia, for example, climate change could have a positive impact on banana production in the Antioquia region, but it poses a threat to banana production in the regions of La Guajira and Magdalena. Another important observation is that extreme or severe weather events will increase in all regions, with clear negative consequences: These can cause up to 80 percent of the yield to be lost.
The study is still in progress and will be completed by the end of October. It will then be available here on the website.
The most promising measures
In a study, Prof. Dr. Eike Lüdeling of the University of Bonn and his team discussed which concrete implementation-oriented measures for adaptation to climate change could be useful in this context. Based on a scientific analysis of decision-making, he concluded that the measures ‘composting’, ‘ground cover’, ‘integrated pest management’ (IPM), ‘incorporation of harvest residues’ and ‘buffer zones’ are the most promising.
This study will also be published here at the end of October.
The various measures and further actions of the ABNB were discussed with all stakeholders at the meeting on 29 September. On the basis of these findings, the ABNB will draw up a catalogue of measures which, in the long term, is intended to become an add-on for standard systems.