Results » Testimonials: Wilberth Román Céspedes

Wilberth Román Céspedes

Coopepilangosta coffee mill

“In fact, climate change is a result of human activities. Now we must pay the bill because we are mismanaging our resources. We are responsible.”

How many people depend on your organization? 
We have 167 members and 160 families who depend on the coffee mills. 

Do you have liaison for the NAMA Café? How many people are involved?
At the moment, I am responsible, but in the long term we will assign this responsibility to a different person. 

What is your interest in participating in the NAMA Café?
I am quite interested in the NAMA Café. I would like to increase the efficiency of the systems and equipment in our mill, reduce consumption and, hopefully, help better the environment. We should consider that every day the world gets more competitive, so we have to become more efficient. 

What do you understand by Climate Change?
Climate Change is generated by climatic factors which cannot be controlled. Heavy rainfalls and long periods of drought during winter are quite uncommon phenomena that lead to plagues and diseases. Human activities contribute to an accelerated greenhouse effect which causes an increase of the global temperature. In reality, Climate Change is an effect which originates with humans. Now we should pay the bill for the poor management of our resources. 

Do you think your actions affect the climate?
Not only mine, but the actions of all humans. We need to be more organized regarding the efficient use of resources. I believe a lot in topics such as recycling and reutilization. Moreover, are working on improving the treatment of coffee waste and we have invested in the latest and most efficient equipment. 

Which sources of greenhouse gases do you know from the coffee sector?
Firewood and coffee husk used as energy source for drying or heating coffee. In addition, chemical fertilizers. 

Do you know the expression of “carbon footprint”?
The carbon footprint represents the difference between the carbon which is consumed and produced. So, my actions generate either a positive or a negative impact. Finally, these can be subtracted and show the impact on the climate.

Do you know someone who is affected by Climate Change?
Here in our country I have not seen anybody affected by Climate Change, but most of all I have heard from many countries, such as Mexico. They have been severely affected by extreme contamination due to greenhouse gases, whereas in Costa Rica we don’t experience strong impacts. Possibly in San José due to the high amount of traffic. 

Is your job vulnerable to Climate Change?
Yes, of course, we are all dependent upon the climate. For example, a plant requires water, solar energy and fertilizers in order to grow. 

Do you think it is necessary to take preventive measures at this moment? If yes, describe these measures.
Yes, of course, it is necessary to raise awareness among the people of making an effort to improve our culture, correct the negative effects and continually mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. The challenge lies in creating awareness among the local population, since this cannot be measured and depends on the education and formation of each individual. We have to change the way we think, produce and consume.  

Do you know the Costa Rican government´s strategy for reaching carbon neutrality? What do you think about it?
Yes, I know the strategy, but not in detail. I have heard that Costa Rica wants to be carbon neutral by 2021. It is difficult to achieve, a lot of things are still to be done. Nothing is impossible, however, it seems that we are facing a great challenge. 

Which adaptation and mitigation actions do you know regarding Climate Change in the Costa Rican coffee sector? 
A sustainable coffee production, the implementation of shade trees in coffee plantations, reduction of pesticide use, and applying waste management measures are important mitigation actions. Concerning adaptation we can use more resistant varieties of coffee. 

How does your institution contribute to climate and environmental protection?
We already implemented measures of solid waste management. We try to make an effort to control water consumption. Additionally, we have launched campaigns for our producers related to shade management and the use of organic fertilizers. 

July 2016