The Nicaragua biogas programme managed by ProBiogas, a specific purpose vehicle set up by Hivos, has been registered as a Gold Standard and CDM Carbon Emission Mitigation project. The Gold Standard label certifies that the programme is not only mitigating climate change, but also has considerable impact on local socioeconomic development. The Nicaragua biogas programme is the first domestic biogas programme registered as such in Latin America. Gold Standard Foundation has congratulated Hivos with this remarkable achievement.
The Nicaragua biogas program aims to increase the access to and use of renewable energy in rural areas in the country, especially for small and medium-size farmers and rural households. The ultimate aim is to develop a sustainable biogas market, replicating other biogas programmes of Hivos in Asia and Africa. The programme involves different stakeholders in the country, such as local companies, civil society organizations, producers associations, micro-finance institutions, vocational training centres and others. This will provide job and business opportunities in Nicaragua’s rural areas.
Domestic biogas has multiple benefits as it provides a clean cooking fuel and excellent organic fertilizer (bio-slurry). The lack of smoke in the kitchen brings significant health benefits, especially for women and small children. It saves firewood, thereby reducing deforestation, saving time (firewood collection) or money (when firewood is bought).
The goal is to install a minimum of 6,000 biogas plants over five years (2012 – 2017). The programme is co-financed by the Multilateral Investment Fund of the Interamerican Development Bank and the Nordic Development Fund, and implemented by SNV Netherlands Development Organisation and Hivos.
Hivos and SNV have successfully implemented similar programs in Africa and Asia and are now transferring the market-based approach involving multiple stakeholders to Nicaragua as a first application in Latin America. It is great news that this programme has been registered as a Gold Standard programme, meaning it generates carbon credits in order to create a sustainable financing mechanism to continue and expand the programme after the 2012-2017 project period.