11 March 2024

IV Palm Congress: transforming the environment, in Guatemala


IV Palm Congress: transforming the environment, in Guatemala

From 28 February to 1 March 2024, the Palm Growers Association of Guatemala (GREPALMA) held the IV Palm Congress: transforming the environment in Guatemala, the world’s 6th largest producer of palm oil and the 3rd largest exporter.

Representing Proforest was Juan Carlos Espinosa, on the panel ‘Changes in the environment of the palm sector: How to adapt’, joined by Carlos Urías (OIRSA), Felipe Molina (Grupo HAME), Gabriela Fuentes (UVG), Pietro Paganini (Competere) and Santiago Cortés (LDC). It was a great opportunity to hear the different perspectives from a range of actors in the supply chain and understand the actions being taken by each of them.

Throughout the panel, Juan emphasised the increasing requirements for traceability and the need to establish policies and implement No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation (NDPE) commitments throughout the supply chain. He highlighted how the market requirements in the palm oil agribusiness have evolved over the years, from voluntary certification schemes and commitments, leading to an important focus on deforestation, peat, land and labour issues. To now mandatory regulations like the European Union Deforestation Regulation (EUDR) come as a much bigger challenge. Juan expressed that now is the time to focus on action that contribute to repairing damage, regenerating ecosystems and making a positive contribution to people, nature and climate. Finally, he stressed the importance of the local communities and rightsholders' participation and engagement in our work on the ground, for example when carrying out High Conservation Value (HCV) identification studies, and environmental and social impact assessments.