Carbon Market Watch

For fair and effective climate protection.

Aguan – Biogas project, Honduras

Aguan biogas recovery from Palm Oil Mill Effluent (POME) ponds and biogas utilisation – Exportadora del Atlántico, Aguan/Honduras
Status: Registered
Ref #: 3197
Methane recovery in wastewater treatment – AMS-III.H. ver. 14; Thermal energy production with or without electricity – AMS-I.C. ver. 16; Grid connected renewable electricity generation – AMS-I.D. ver. 15

The issue of human rights violations linked to CDM projects (and how to address them) has been evidenced by the Aguan biogas project in the Bajo Aguan region of Honduras. The project has been linked to serious human rights violations with 25 people killed to date. Five of these people were allegedly killed by the project developer´s own security forces from the clashes raised by this project.

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Human Rights
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The project intends to reduce emissions by collecting biogas from methane emissions for heat generation in place of fossil fuels in a palm oil plantation mill of Grupo Dinant’s subsidiary Exportadora del Atlantico. It is a relatively small project in the context of the CDM, forecasting an annual reduction of about 23,000 tonnes of CO2 but it could generate about US$2.8 million between 2010 and 2017.

Along with local stakeholders on the ground, Carbon Market Watch has communicated concerns with the project to the CDM Executive Board on multiple occasions raising the issue of human rights violations associated with it. We have also highlighted that the local stakeholder process was not conducted properly because communities were not given sufficient notice about the consultation meeting and this has hampered their participation to express concerns.

According to the PDD:

Exportadora del Atlántico is devoted to the extraction and refining of palm oil. Apart from the oil press, its facilities include diverse industrial processes: Refining, fractionation, interesterification process, biodiesel production and a fat and oil production plant. The Palm Oil Extraction Plant consumes approx. 4,500 MWh/yr of electricity from the grid, 29,570 gallons of Diesel and 116,474 gallons of bunker1 (year 2007). Exportadora del Atlántico Aguan intends to modernise its energy generation and management system. The objective is to make use of the renewable energy sources that can be made available at the Palm Oil Extraction Plant from biogas collection from wastewater treatment.

Identified shortcomings

• Project has been linked to serious human rights violations including the death of 25 people. Read more
• Local stakeholder process was not conducted correctly. Read more

What we are calling for:

• Comprehensive investigation of the project by the CDM Executive Board.
• Removal of project LoA by Honduran DNA on breaches to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
• Credit buyers in Annex I countries must refrain from purchasing carbon credits linked with human rights abuses.

To read more about this project:

View our letters submitted to various stakeholders

View our press releases

View these articles in our various Newsletters

View these related documents