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NEXT STEPS TO HALT DEFORESTATION ANNOUNCED BY CHOCOLATE INDUSTRY AND GHANA

NEXT STEPS TO HALT DEFORESTATION ANNOUNCED BY CHOCOLATE INDUSTRY AND GHANA



The government of Ghana and companies in the chocolate and cocoa supply chain have outlined actions to implement a Joint Framework of Action signed at COP23.

The announcement heralds the next phase of the Cocoa & Forests Initiative (CFI), initiated and led by the Ministries of Lands and Natural Resources, the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) and IDH.

Through this initiative, industry and the governments of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana are working together to end deforestation and forest degradation caused by cocoa farming.

The Ghanaian government and industry representatives presented the result of work jointly conducted over the past six months by working groups on forest preservation, agroforestry, social inclusion, traceability, finance and monitoring and evaluation. Among the outcomes was the identification of the first priority regions where CFI activities will be carried out.

Progress was also reported in defining a policy to halt deforestation and forest degradation by 2020, including a unified traceability system, implementation of agroforestry in cocoa production and the creation of a public-private fund for forest preservation.

John Peter Amewu, Ghana’s Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, said “We call on all stakeholders to buy into the initiative to help curb illegal activities so that we protect our forest and cocoa.”

Jonas Mva Mva, IDH’s Cocoa Programme Director, said “With the validation of the implementation plan a key step has been taken for the partners to move to action on the ground. The coming months will be crucial to further expand and reinforce the existing experiences, while assuring the engagement of local communities in the forest protection plans.”

Rick Scobey, President of WCF said the WCF and nearly 30 companies are committed to support the implementation of the Ivorian government’s new strategy.

The public-private actions are aligned with the Paris Climate Agreement and will play an important role in sequestering carbon stocks and thereby addressing global and local climate change.

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