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The governments of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana and 35 leading cocoa and chocolate companies have joined together in the Cocoa & Forests Initiative to end deforestation and restore forest areas. In Colombia, the government and the largest local cocoa and chocolate companies signed the Cocoa, Forests & Peace Initiative to eliminate cocoa-related deforestation.
At the November 2017 UN Climate Change Conference (COP23), top cocoa-producing countries Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana with leading chocolate and cocoa companies announced far-reaching Cocoa & Forests Initiative Frameworks for Action. Central to the Frameworks is a commitment to no further conversion of any forest land for cocoa production.
In March 2019, another milestone was reached to strengthen transparency and accountability in the cocoa supply chain: the governments of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana and 34 Cocoa & Forests Initiative companies released action plans that spell out concrete steps to end cocoa-related deforestation. The action plans focus on:
- forest protection and restoration,
- sustainable cocoa production and farmers’ livelihoods, and
- community engagement and social inclusion.
These combined actions will play a crucial role in sequestering carbon stocks in West African forests and addressing global and local climate change, in line with the Paris Climate Agreement.
- Company Initial Action Plans: Côte d’Ivoire (English)
- Plans initiaux des entreprises pour la Côte d’Ivoire (français)
- Company Initial Action Plans: Ghana
The Cocoa & Forests Initiative companies and governments have begun to implement key actions on the ground to halt deforestation in the most ecologically important and environmentally sensitive areas. Significant steps include:
- Government implementation of land use and socio-economic surveys in priority areas to collect baseline data for the design of new agro-forestry and conservation programs;
- Development of farm mapping and traceability systems to ensure cocoa is sourced legally from farms outside of protected areas and monitor where cocoa from deforested areas could enter into the supply chain;
- Development of new landscape corridors to connect up fragmented forest reserves, and community-based landscape management to scale up conservation efforts through broader “jurisdictional approaches;”
- Investments in sustainable agricultural intensification in order to “grow more cocoa on less land,” with a focus on climate-smart production techniques, farmer training, increased access to financing, new government operational guidelines and company investment for agroforestry;
- Looking at incentive-based systems to promote environmentally sustainable agricultural practices, for instance through the launch of payments for environmental services contracts directly with farmers;
- Government land tenure reforms and tools that allow farmers to obtain official ownership of valuable non-cocoa trees on their farms and thereby encourage investment in agro-forestry; and
- Use of satellite monitoring to track illegal deforestation in hotspot areas and issue deforestation alerts.
- Côte d'Ivoire Framework for Action (English)
- Côte d’Ivoire Cadre d’Action Commune (français)
- Ghana Framework for Action
Featured Expert Ethan BudianskyDirector of Environment
World Cocoa Foundation
Barry Callebaut, Blommer Chocolate Company(1), Cargill Cocoa and Chocolate, Cémoi(1), Chocolats Halba (2), Cocoanect, Cococo Chocolatiers, ECOM Group(2), Fazer, Ferrero, GCB Cocoa(1), General Mills Inc., Godiva Chocolatier Inc., Guittard Chocolate Company, The Hershey Company, Indcresa(2), Kuapa Kokoo(2), Lindt & Sprüngli Group, Marks & Spencer Food, Mars Wrigley, Meiji Co. Ltd.(2), Mondelēz, Nestlé, Olam Cocoa, PBC Limited(2), Sainsbury’s, SIAT(1), Sucden, Tesco, Toms Group(2), Touton, Unilever(1), UPL(1), Valrhona, J.H. Whittaker & Sons(2) (1) Côte d’Ivoire only (2) Ghana only.
IDH - The Sustainable Trade Initiative, United Kingdom’s Department for International Development, Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, World Bank, International Finance Corporation, Global Environment Facility, Green Commodities Program of United Nations Development Program, Tropical Forest Alliance 2020, Partnerships for Forests, World Resources Institute, Rainforest Alliance, Amsterdam Declaration Partnership, German Initiative on Sustainable Cocoa
Colombia: the Cocoa, Forests & Peace Initiative
On July 17, 2018, Colombia became the first country from Latin America to join Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire on signing on to the principles of the Initiative. Through the ‘Cocoa, Forests and Peace Initiative’, the Government of Colombia—along with its largest cocoa company, Casa Luker, and the National Cocoa Federation—is now committed to eliminate deforestation from the country’s cocoa supply chain by 2020. The commitment will be supported by the World Resources Institute and IDH-the Sustainable Trade Initiative.
- Colombia Cocoa, Forests, and Peace Initiative Joint Framework for Action
Companies and governments are stepping up – we call on development partners and civil society organizations to join us and support long-term solutions for sustainable cocoa production and forest management.Alain-Richard Donwahi Côte d’Ivoire Minister of Water and Forests
Cocoa & Forests Initiative
The cocoa and chocolate industry, along with the governments of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana have committed to work together, through the Cocoa and Forests Initiative, to end deforestation and forest degradation caused by cocoa farming. Hear from them about the urgency of the issue and the solutions being implemented on the ground.