In 2021, a Cocoa & Forests Initiative company launched a reforestation project in a cocoa cooperative in Bayota, Côte d’Ivoire. The objective was to plant 11,000 native trees across 17 hectares of degraded forest areas. The project entailed community sensitization sessions on environmental issues, reforestation training, monitoring visits after the planting and extensive local collaboration.
A reforestation management committee was set up with roles attributed to different members. Among these was Oro Obré Marcellin. He is one of the eight landowners of the reforested hectares.
“The reforestation project was a success for everyone who participated. Besides the environmental benefits, there was a financial incentive for landowners and the participating cooperative. We were able to gather in the end over 5,000 euros from the trees planted”, said Oro Obré Marcellin.
The committee also included a member of Bayota’s farmer cooperative, who shared reforestation knowledge with the farmer group. The head of the Bayota Forest and Water Protection Office was also involved. Finally, representatives of female associations and chiefs of the three nearby villages participated in the sensitization of communities and to the peaceful resolution of arising conflicts.
“The committee oversaw the splitting of the total sum in two parts. We decided that one part would be directed towards the cooperative’s savings association to finance income generating activities in the community by the end of the year. The other part was distributed to me and the other landowners. Our shared responsibility doesn’t stop there. We now need to take care of those trees and spread the word on initiatives like these,” concluded Oro Obré Marcellin.