Companies and government partners supported by WCF and IDH will be attending COP28 in December, where they will be presenting updates on the Cocoa and Forests Initiative (CFI), an unprecedented partnership between the governments of Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire and 36 cocoa and chocolate companies to eliminate deforestation and restore degraded forests. The presentation ties in with the COP28 Action Agenda on Regenerative Landscapes, which aims to accelerate the transition to regenerative agriculture practices, positively impacting the sustainability and resilience of our food and agricultural systems.
Since 2017, CFI has made good progress in its mission to end cocoa-related deforestation through collaboration, particularly on traceability, farmer training and the promotion of cocoa agroforestry.
CFI landscape approaches to deliver impact beyond direct supply chains
Building on the first phase of CFI, which delivered a strong governance and tangible progress on traceability and agroforestry from both the public and private signatories, CFI is now including landscape approaches in its strategy to deliver meaningful impact through the conservation of forests and restoration of degraded lands. This decision is a critical step in delivering public-private partnerships and investment for collective action in priority landscapes, as envisaged when CFI was established and demonstrates commitment of CFI signatories to achieving zero deforestation and promoting reforestation by directly investing in forests beyond investing in the production areas around forests.
In 2023, to generate momentum, companies and government partners supported by WCF and IDH committed to implement at least one multistakeholder landscape programme in both Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, to serve as a model for landscape collective action that can be replicated in other regions.
About the Asunafo-Asutifi Hotspot Area (HIA) in Ghana
In Ghana, the landscape program is led by WCF with technical expertise from Proforest and previous funding support from the UK Government. The program is in line with the Ghana Cocoa Forest REDD+ Program and aims to create a deforestation-free supply chain in the Asunafo-Astutifi landscape, protecting and restoring its forests, and improving the livelihoods of Ghanaian cocoa farmers. WCF and Proforest are working in close collaboration with the Ghana Forestry Commission, COCOBOD, local communities, and NGOs. The progress in this landscape collaboration will be presented at an event on the 3rd of December at the Ghanaian pavilion, in the Blue Zone. WCF will facilitate the presentation and panel on behalf of the CFI Secretariat.
About the Yapo Abbé Forest and Bossematié Nature Reserve in Côte d’Ivoire
In Côte d’Ivoire, the landscapes of Yapo-Abbé and Bossématié have been selected to develop the first CFI collaborative projects in the country and demonstrate the business case for collective action in forest conservation, land restoration and supporting forest communities. WCF and IDH are working in close collaboration with the Ministries of Forest, Agriculture and Environment and their implementing agencies to roll-out the landscape approach in line with national policies.
The priority Ivoirian landscapes of Yapo-Abbé and Bossematié will be presented at an event on the 4th of December at the Ivoirian pavilion, in the Blue Zone. WCF and MINEF will facilitate the presentation and panel on behalf of the CFI Secretariat.
Policy environment increases the need to accelerate efforts for public-private collaboration
Across both nations, national traceability systems entered the piloting phase and the national guidelines for the African Regional Standard for Sustainable Cocoa have been drafted. These policy developments, combined with the EU Deforestation Regulation, are poised to bolster the voluntary commitments of CFI, driving further progress towards a shared vision of a deforestation-free cocoa industry.
Call to Action at COP for CFI landscapes
Companies, public donors and impact investors will be invited to express their interest in participating and investing in the development and implementation of these CFI projects in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana. The continued collaboration between WCF companies, governments, funders and cocoa farming communities underscores the shared commitment to tackling deforestation and ensuring a sustainable future for cocoa production that can be replicated in other geographies and landscapes.
On the Cocoa & Forest Initiative
CFI provides a platform to help companies and governments formulate and implement detailed action plans to reach their commitments to end cocoa-related deforestation. Actions include supporting farmers in adopting sustainable cocoa farming practices, helping communities protect the forests they depend on and piloting new approaches at landscape level.
This cooperative venture, entering its second phase in 2022, has laid the foundation for a sustainable and responsible cocoa industry with renewed strategies and ambitious multi-year plans extended until the close of 2025. For more information, take a look at the latest press release.