Cocoa & Forests Initiative


Context: deforestation in Ghana

Forest resources in Ghana have been over constant pressure, mainly due to agricultural expansion and wood harvesting, which represent respectively 50% and 35% of the drivers.  Historically, cocoa has been a driver of deforestation and contributes to further deforestation. In particular, the importance of cocoa in the national economy and the rapid expansion of the cultivated area, especially in the forested Western Region, has resulted in loss of forest cover (Source: REDD+). The Government of Ghana is taking this issue seriously and has developed an ambitious Ghana Cocoa Forest REDD+ Programme (GCFRP). The Cocoa & Forests Initiative (CFI) builds on this program, and many other that aim to enhance the sustainability of the Ghanaian cocoa sector.

Inception of the Cocoa & Forests Initiative

In March 2017, companies from the cocoa and chocolate sector signed a Collective Statement of Intent, committing to “working together, pre-competitively, to end deforestation and forest degradation in the cocoa supply chain, with an initial focus on Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire”.

In November 2017, the Government of Ghana and major cocoa and chocolate companies signed the CFI Joint Framework for Action. At the heart of the Framework is the commitment to no longer convert forest land for cocoa production.

Overview of the CFI governance in Ghana

The CFI governance was set up early 2018 and includes a National Oversight Committee at the highest level, a Steering Committee, Technical Working Groups and Task Forces. The National Secretariat, headed up by the Ministry of Land and Natural Resources (MLNR) is supported by a Coordinating Team.

Three Technical Working Groups have been established on Production, Protection and Social inclusion.  Five Task Forces established under the Technical Working Groups:

(i)     Climate-smart agroforestry;

(ii)    Mapping;

(iii)    Monitoring and evaluation;

(iv) Traceability;

(v) Social Safeguard

The 8 commitments of CFI

  1. Prohibit and prevent activities that cause or contribute to any further deforestation or forest degradation in the cocoa sector;
  2. Respect the rights of cocoa farmers, including identifying and mitigating social risks, and sequencing the implementation of actions to minimize potential adverse social and economic impacts;
  3. Promote the effective restoration and long-term conservation of National Parks, Wildlife Sanctuaries, Wildlife Resource Reserves, Forest Reserves, and unprotected off-reserve forest lands;
  4. Strengthen supply chain mapping, with the end goal of full traceability at the farm-level;
  5. Implement verifiable actions and timebound targets on the basis of sound data, robust and credible methodologies, stakeholder consultation, and realistic timeframes;
  6. Implement agreed actions in the context of a broader landscape-level approach, with strong links with similar initiatives in other commodities, and full alignment with the national REDD+ strategy, new Ghana Cocoa Sector Development Strategy II, and other relevant national strategies and plans;
  7. Embrace shared responsibility to implement the Framework actions, including continued engagement in a multi-stakeholder process for dialogue on key issues, development of effective implementation plans, and joint learning and knowledge sharing; and
  8. Provide effective monitoring and reporting on progress on commitments and actions to ensure transparency and accountability.

Implementation of the CFI commitments

The CFI actions are to be implemented in the context of a broader landscape-level approach.

A multi-stakeholder landscape approach is forming the basis for the interventions, with an initial focus on the six Climate-Smart Cocoa Hotspot Intervention Areas (HIAs) as defined under the Ghana Cocoa Forest REDD+ Program (GCFRP). The process starts with establishment of consortiums of key stakeholders, followed by development and implementation of integrated landscape management plans with a strong focus on climate-smart cocoa initiatives.

The 6 targeted forets  are as follows:

  1. AhafoAno South / AtwimaMponua / AtwimaNwabiagya(Ashanti Region)
  2. Asunafo / Asutifi (Brong-AhafoRegion)
  3. Atiwa / Denkyembour / East Akim (EasternRegion)
  4. Bibiani / Anwiaso / SefwiWiawso(Western Region)
  5. JuabesoBia(Western Region)
  6. Kakum (Central Region)