COP28 to hear of CFI updates on cocoa deforestation in West Africa

By Anthony Myers

- Last updated on GMT

CFI national traceability systems have entered the piloting phase in cocoa-growing regions in West Africa. Pic: CFI
CFI national traceability systems have entered the piloting phase in cocoa-growing regions in West Africa. Pic: CFI

Related tags COP28 CFI Cocoa Côte d'ivoire Ghana Sustainability

The Cocoa and Forests Initiative (CFI) is set to present updates on the industry’s commitment to eliminate deforestation and restore degraded forests at COP28, the United Nations Climate Change Conference, which will be held this year in Dubai from 30 November to 12 December.

Since 2017, CFI, an unprecedented partnership between the governments of Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire and 36 cocoa and chocolate companies, has made good progress in its mission to end cocoa-related deforestation through collaboration, particularly on traceability, farmer training, and the promotion of cocoa agroforestry.

Its presentation ties in with the COP28 Action Agenda on Regenerative Landscapes, which aims to accelerate the transition to regenerative agriculture practices, positively impacting the sustainability and resilience of our food and agricultural systems.  

A declaration by COP28  is expected to be unveiled on 1 December, the first full day of the summit, which will call on countries to put food at the heart of the climate agenda by linking their agricultural policies to their national emissions and biodiversity plans.

Farming is regarded as part of the climate puzzle because it leads to deforestation and land degradation in addition to contributing to global warming, prompting calls for a rethink of global food production​,” said COP 28 in a media announcement.

Our food systems, unfortunately, today are failing us​,” said Morgan Gillespy, director of the Food and Land Use Coalition, which is running a food policy pavilion at COP26. The Emirates Declaration will “raise the floor of ambition​”, she said, with the UAE presidency urging countries to get behind the pledge.

CFI landscape approaches

Building on the first phase of CFI, which delivered a strong governance and tangible progress on traceability and agroforestry from both the public and private signatories, CFI is now including landscape approaches in its strategy to deliver meaningful impact through the conservation of forests and restoration of degraded lands.

This decision is a critical step in delivering public-private partnerships and investment for collective action in priority landscapes, as envisaged when CFI was established, and demonstrates the commitment of CFI signatories to achieving zero deforestation and promoting reforestation by directly investing in forests beyond investing in the production areas around forests​,” said CFI in a statement.

This year in an effort to generate momentum, companies and government partners supported by World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) and IDH (The Sustainable Trade Initiative) committed to implementing at least one multistakeholder landscape program in both Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana to serve as a model for landscape collective action that can be replicated in other regions. 


In Ghana, the landscape programme is led by WCF)with technical expertise from Proforest and previous funding support from the UK Government. The programme is in line with the Ghana Cocoa Forest REDD+ Program and aims to create a deforestation-free supply chain in the Asunafo-Astutifi landscape, protecting and restoring its forests, and improving the livelihoods of Ghanaian cocoa farmers.

WCF and Proforest are working in close collaboration with the Ghana Forestry Commission, COCOBOD, local communities, and NGOs. The progress in this landscape collaboration will be presented at an event on the 3 December at the Ghanaian pavilion, in the Blue Zone. WCF will facilitate the presentation and panel on behalf of the CFI Secretariat.

Cote d’Ivoire

In Cote d’Ivoire, the landscapes of Yapo-Abbé and Bossématié have been selected to develop the first CFI collaborative projects in the country and demonstrate the business case for collective action in forest conservation, land restoration and supporting forest communities.  WCF and IDH are working in close collaboration with the Ministries of Forest, Agriculture and Environment and their implementing agencies to roll-out the landscape approach in line with national policies.

The priority Ivoirian landscapes of Yapo-Abbé and Bossematié will be presented at an event on 4 December at the Ivoirian pavilion, in the Blue Zone. WCF and MINEF will facilitate the presentation and panel on behalf of the CFI Secretariat. 

Across both West African countries, national traceability systems entered the piloting phase, and the national guidelines for the African Regional Standard for Sustainable Cocoa have been drafted. These policy developments, combined with the EU Deforestation Regulation, are poised to bolster the voluntary commitments of CFI, driving further progress towards a shared vision of a deforestation-free cocoa industry.

There will also be a call to action at COP28 for companies, public donors, and impact investors will be invited to express their interest in participating and investing in the development and implementation of these CFI projects in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana.

The continued collaboration between WCF companies, governments, funders and cocoa farming communities underscores the shared commitment to tackling deforestation and ensuring a sustainable future for cocoa production that can be replicated in other geographies and landscapes​,” the CFI said. 

Related news

Show more