Biodiversity in the Cultivation of Bananas and Pineapples

Protection of the Biodiversity in the Cultivation of Bananas and Pineapples

About 40 % of the planet's surface is used for agricultural purposes. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, agriculture is responsible for 70 % of biodiversity loss, a situation that mainly affects developing countries, where 72 % of species of flora and fauna are endangered due to agriculture. The degradation of ecosystems and the consequent loss of habitat for many animals, plants and micro-organisms are especially dramatic in regions where agricultural crops are sown in monoculture production systems. Monocultures of pineapple and banana can negatively influence climate and biodiversity. This management can degrade ecosystems, contribute to soil erosion, affect the availability of water sources, and contaminate water and air.

Both crops are in high demand in the European Union (EU), particularly in Germany. Among the largest exporters to the EU market in 2015 were Costa Rica (940,000 tonnes) and the Dominican Republic (330,000 tonnes). The three most important importing countries were Belgium, the United Kingdom and thirdly Germany (698,000 tonnes).

Banana and pineapple are Costa Rica's main agricultural exports; together, they occupy almost 90,000 hectares of the territory. In the Dominican Republic, about 49% of the country's 48,000 square kilometre area is used for agricultural purposes. Compatibility between highly productive agriculture and biodiversity conservation is possible and indispensable to ensure, on the one hand, a secure food supply and, on the other, the protection of the diversity of ecosystems and species.

Project Objectives

The From Farm to Fork project will take place in two countries: Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic. Project activities will support the integration of conservation, protection of natural capital and valuation of ecosystem services in banana and pineapple value chains, increasing sustainability in production through biodiversity-responsible measures.

Key actors of this project are the people involved along value chains, including plantation owners and managers, quality and sustainability standards and/or certification organizations, exporters, importers and traders, agricultural education centres, as well as final consumers.

Project Measures

  1. 1. Include biodiversity criteria for banana and pineapple crops in national and international standards and procurement guidelines of food companies.
  2. 2. Develop a Biodiversity Innovation Fund to support the conception and implementation of the implementation of biodiversity-responsible measures in production.
  3. 3. Establish a Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) model for financing areas of biological connectivity developed by value chain actors in productive regions.
  4. 4. Aware raising of the food sector and end consumers of the value of biodiversity.
  5. 5. Disseminate and exchange experiences at the national, regional and international levels.


Countries:   Dominican Republic, Costa Rica
EBBC Partner:   Global Nature Fund, Bodensee-Stiftung
Other Partners:   Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationalle Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
Supporter:   International Climate Initiative (IKI), with support from the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU)