The second Regional Ideas Competition for a Green Recovery in Central America and the Dominican Republic (IR Verde), announced the innovative ideas selected for implementation during 2023. These selected proposals must favor the creation or maintenance of employment, contribute to an environmentally sustainable economy and promote gender equality and digitalization.
IR Verde is carried out in collaboration with the Central American Commission for Environment and Development (CCAD) of the Central American Integration System (SICA), INTEGRARSE and the Federation of Chambers and Industrial Associations of Central America and the Dominican Republic (FECAICA), and is implemented by the German Development Cooperation, GIZ, on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
This second edition of the competition promotes the implementation of green and inclusive innovations within the private sector of the SICA region, in order to seek a post-COVID 19 recovery through business measures that are resilient, sustainable and environmentally friendly.
In meetings with the national committees and the regional committee of the competition, 17 ideas were selected from a total of 102 proposals, which address topics such as biomaterials, biodiversity protection, circular economy, organic agriculture, renewable energy, mitigation and adaptation to climate change, among others. Some of the projects are regional in scope, while others will be implemented in the Dominican Republic, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Costa Rica.
In order to make the ideas public and stimulate exchange, a virtual event was held with the participation of representatives from the private and public sectors of the different countries involved. In addition, among the panelists there was a notorious female participation, demonstrating that the green recovery in the region is led by women.
Kathrin Russner, Director of the Ideas for a Green Recovery Program, highlighted during the event the importance of making visible business practices that seek to be friendly to biodiversity, and said: “IR Verde arises from the importance of involving the private sector not only to measure and trace their impact on the environment, but also to highlight the good examples and ideas that arise from private companies, in order to implement measures to combat both climate change and biodiversity loss.
One of the objectives of the regional IR Verde program, implemented by CCAD together with GIZ, is to motivate companies in Central America and the Dominican Republic to increasingly promote sustainable and inclusive business models and solutions capable of promoting a green recovery that achieves environmental, economic and social objectives.
Mr. Jair Urriola Quiroz, Executive Secretary of CCAD, present at the event, commented: “The sustainable management of biodiversity and natural resources in our region represents an important opportunity to mitigate and adapt to the social, economic and environmental impacts generated by COVID-19 and climate change. These projects selected through the two regional competitions show the clear intention to set the course for transformative change that promotes sustainability, resilience and climate neutrality.”
During the official presentation of the selected ideas, panelists also explained some of the successful results obtained in the first competition and the expectations for the implementation during 2023 of the new proposals that clearly show the great innovative potential in the SICA region.
The company Esquipi Químicos de Costa Rica, explained how their idea for the local production of carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) from pineapple stubble can provide the country’s chemical industry with a basic substance that continues to be imported today. Aerodom and Fundación Verde, both from the Dominican Republic, presented their proposal for the protection of marine-coastal systems in the Boca Chica area and their use for eco-tourism. Finally, DELSUR of El Salvador showed how its project contributes to the protection of wildlife.
For the economy to achieve the goal of being environmentally sustainable and resilient, regional cooperation and the involvement of both the private and public sectors in the green transformation of Central American countries and the Dominican Republic are necessary. Both the first and second IR Verde contests promote within companies the implementation of green innovations that support the conservation and restoration of biodiversity, on which life on the planet depends.
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