Cocoa & Forests Initiative Reports Progress, Aims to Expand Effort

May 19, 2020

  • New Forest Code adopted by the Côte d’Ivoire Government, and acceleration of landscape-level partnerships supported by the Ghana Government.
  • More than 4 million trees planted by signatory companies for agroforestry systems and reforestation in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana.
  • More than 1 million farms mapped by signatory companies in the two countries to improve traceability.
  • 1 million farmers trained in Good Agricultural Practices in the two countries.

UTRECHT (May 19, 2020) – Cocoa & Forests Initiative (CFI) signatories today reported progress towards their goal of ending deforestation and said progress needs to accelerate this year to save and restore the forests of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana.

In 2018-2019, CFI signatory companies and the governments of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana began implementing activities that will help meet their 2017 joint commitment to end cocoa-related deforestation and forest degradation.

Companies’ actions included putting in place systems to eliminate deforestation from their cocoa supply chain, including mapping more than one million farms in their direct supply chain. They have also distributed more than 4 million trees to farmers to establish agroforestry systems and reforest degraded forests in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana.

Governments’ efforts have focused on creating policy, legal and institutional frameworks that can support implementation of CFI signatories’ programs. This included the release of a new Forest Code in Côte d’Ivoire, strengthened collaboration on a landscape level in CFI priority areas in Ghana, and taking measures to actively promote agroforestry in both countries. The Governments have also released forest boundary maps and updated land cover maps to help signatory companies identify areas that are at risk of deforestation.

CFI is a joint partnership of the governments of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, and 35 cocoa and chocolate companies facilitated by IDH, the Sustainable Trade Initiative and the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF), with support from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (BUZA), Partnership for Forests (P4F) through the United Kingdom Government’s Department for International Development, the US Agency for International Development (USAID),  and the World Bank. The Progress Reports released today, contain data and testimonials from companies, government officials, civil society leaders and farmers that have been working together, since March 2017, to end deforestation and forest degradation in the cocoa supply chain.

Honorable Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh, Minister of Lands and Natural Resources in Ghana said, “We are proud to present the CFI achievements so far, and in particular, progress achieved in terms of promotion of climate-smart cocoa, clarification of tree tenure, and facilitation of landscape-level partnerships. Moving forward, we need to continue working together to mobilize sustainable funding to make further progress with our commitments, especially in key areas of satellite-based monitoring and forest categorization.”

Honorable Alain-Richard Donwahi, Minister of Water and Forests in Côte d’Ivoire said “Since the signature of the CFI commitment, we’ve made significant progress on the protection of forests, including through the release of the new Forest Code in 2019.  This new code defines the legal and regulatory framework for the implementation of the CFI, including the creation of a differentiated approach to classified forests, which also takes into account the needs of communities whose livelihoods depend on forests. The next challenge will be for us to mobilize further funds to support implementation of this ambitious policy, in close collaboration with the private sector, and with support from civil society organizations.”

World Cocoa Foundation President Mr. Richard Scobey said, “We are proud of CFI’s first steps and are determined to keep our eyes on the prize: end deforestation and restore forest areas. In 2020, we will notably accelerate private sector collaboration across cocoa landscapes and, in partnership with governments, put in place effective tools to monitor and eliminate any new deforestation.”

Mr. Jonas Mva Mva, Program Director Cocoa, IDH said. “IDH has huge appreciation for the commitment between the Governments and the private sector to work together to address deforestation in the cocoa supply chain. Important progress was achieved in 2019, and more needs to be done to accelerate implementation of ambitious forest protection and restoration programs, and to put in place a simple, but efficient system to systematically monitor progress towards CFI commitments in 2020.”

About the Cocoa & Forests Initiative (CFI)

The CFI is a public-private partnership to end cocoa-related deforestation and forest degradation and promote forest restoration. Industry and governments collaborate within the framework of CFI with other stakeholders such as NGOs, farmer organizations and civil society organizations on the development and implementation of business-driven solutions.