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Ghana and cocoa and chocolate companies announced an agreement on Thursday to accelerate collaboration to guard and restore forests in cocoa-growing areas.
With the agreement, the planet Cocoa Foundation (WCF) and therefore the refore the Forestry Commission of Ghana (GFC) are building a partnership to further align the Ghana Cocoa Forest Redd+ Program (GCFRP) and the Cocoa & Forests Initiative to realize no-deforestation commitments.
The Memorandum of Understanding, signed by GFC and WCF, commits the parties to working together in six regions where the govt of Ghana has made action to guard and restore forests a priority.
The add these hotspot intervention areas has already started, with active engagements within the Asunafo-Asutifi, Bia-Juaboso, Kakum and Sefwi-Bibiani landscapes.
It is aligned with commitments spelled call at the Ghana framework for action signed in November 2017 for the landmark Cocoa & Forests Initiative, a singular partnership of 35 companies, governments and cocoa-growing communities.
As a part of the Memorandum of Understanding, GFC will facilitate the event of strategic initiatives, collaborate on protocols for data collection and ensure stronger monitoring on social and environmental issues
WCF is liable for facilitating the coordination and convening the actions of the 35 cocoa and chocolate companies that have signed the Cocoa & Forests Initiative.
WCF also will support monitoring and evaluation, innovation and private-public learning.
In his remarks, the Chief military officer of the GFC, John Allotey said “this partnership represents an outstanding collaboration with the private sector to ambitiously contribute to real and verifiable emission reductions in Ghana’s precious forest landscapes which are home to diverse sorts of wildlife and also provide important livelihood options for rural dwellers. The GCFRP is already achieving significant impacts with inclusive governance arrangements and therefore the GFC encourages other like-minded institutions to strategically partner with the program for visible impact at scale.”
On his part, Richard Scobey, WCF’s President, said: “With our partner GFC, we aim to accelerate our journey towards forest positive cocoa.
“Ending cocoa-related deforestation requires all stakeholders to figure together. Today, WCF and cocoa and chocolate companies are strengthening our collaboration with the govt of Ghana.”
The Cocoa & Forests may be a public-private partnership to finish cocoa-related deforestation and forest degradation and promote forest restoration.
Thirty-five cocoa and chocolate companies and governments collaborate within the framework of CFI with other stakeholders like NGOs, farmer organizations and civil society organizations on the event and implementation of business-driven solutions.
In 2020, cocoa and chocolate companies announced major strides towards 2022 Cocoa & Forests Initiative targets with, for instance , quite 4 million tree seedlings distributed to farmers to determine agroforestry systems and reforest degraded forests in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana.
The Cocoa & Forests Initiative contributes to Sustainable Development Goals 13 (Climate Action) and 15 (Life on Land) and is aligned with the Paris Climate Agreement.
The GFC and therefore the Ghana Cocoa Board led within the design and development of the world’s first commodity-driven emission reductions program – the Ghana Cocoa Forest REDD+ Program (GCFRP).
The program covers 5.9 million hectares of the cocoa-forest mosaic landscape.
The goal is to significantly reduce deforestation and forest degradation over a twenty-year period during a phased implementation approach by promoting climate-smart cocoa production, lower risk cocoa farming, landscape level land-use planning, strategic tree tenure reforms and forest rehabilitation interventions.
The program will significantly deliver enhancements in ecosystem resilience, increase farmers’ yields, and generate multiple livelihood benefits underpinned by robust, transparent, and inclusive governance structures.