Ghana launches forest engagement principles for Cocoa Sector

By Anthony Myers contact

- Last updated on GMT

'The Engagement Principles are an important milestone in the journey for companies', said the WCF. Pic: WCF
'The Engagement Principles are an important milestone in the journey for companies', said the WCF. Pic: WCF

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The Ghana Forestry Commission has announced it is launching a new engagement principles guide to help preserve the country’s cocoa forests.

The ‘Engagement Principles for the Ghana Cocoa Forest REDD+ programme’ (GCFRP) will guide how international companies work with national and local government, traditional authorities and local communities in cocoa production landscapes in Ghana to chieve their commitments towards deforestation-free supply chains. 

Guidance takes potential partners through a step-by-step process including different ways to engage, types of investment, communication, monitoring and evaluation requirements and process. 

The Engagement Principles are a core element of the Ghana Cocoa Forest REDD+ Programme (GCFRP), the world's first commodity-based emission reductions programme.

Analyses of the drivers of deforestation under the REDD+ programmes have stressed the role of commodities in deforestation and the importance of working with the private sector in commodity supply chains to address the situation.

As the second largest producer of cocoa in the world, Ghana’s economy (and smallholder livelihoods) is highly dependent on the commodity.

Climate change

However, climate change presents a risk to the cocoa sector, which is dependent on rainfall and forest ecosystem services. Using a climate-smart cocoa production strategy, the GCFRP aims to significantly reduce emissions driven by deforestation and forest degradation, while ensuring cocoa productivity and local livelihoods are improved. 

The Forestry Commission manages six Hotspot Intervention Areas as part of the Ghana Cocoa Forest REDD+ Programme, which represents the largest fully functional jurisdictional programme in Ghana​,” said John Allotey, CEO of the Ghana Forestry Commission.

It is a complex landscape that depends on constant engagement at all levels of government and industry, across all stages of the supply chain and critically across all stakeholder groups in the community. We recognised a gap in the cocoa sector to aid and support engagement with the REDD+ programme, and today we have a way forward​.”

The World Cocoa Foundation represents eight private sector companies in the landscape and its spokesperson, Vincent Pratt, said: "The Engagement Principles are an important milestone in the journey for companies.

“Companies have recognised that many issues can only be tackled at a landscape level, requiring a multi-layered multi-stakeholder process. We’re committed to ensuring our engagement , actions and investment decisions, follow the needs of the landscape and the people who depend on it​.”

  • The Ghana Engagement Principles will be published on the Ghana Forestry Commission REDD+ Secretariat website at: reddsis.fcghana.org/ ​ 

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