By Anthony Myers
The influential Cocoa & Forests Initiative (CFI) said it has seen unprecedented collaboration across the supply chain in the past 12 months, notably between the public and private sector, and its 35 signatory companies.
In its latest Progress Report, it announced that more than 1 million farms have been mapped by signatory companies in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana to improve traceability and that 1 million farmers have been trained in Good Agricultural Practices in the two countries.
Signatories, which also include the governments of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, IDH, the Sustainable Trade Initiative and the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF), reported progress towards their goal of ending deforestation and said progress needs to accelerate this year to save and restore the forests in the two West African countries.
WCF president 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.”
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.
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 -- WCF president Richard Scobey
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 CFI said in a statement.
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.
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.”
His counterpart in Côte d’Ivoire, Alain-Richard Donwahi, minister of water and forests, 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.