The world’s leading cocoa and chocolate companies agreed to a statement of collective intent committing them to work together, in partnership with others, to end deforestation and forest degradation in the global cocoa supply chain, with an initial focus on Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana. The signatories to the statement and other relevant stakeholders, IDH and WCF, will develop joint frameworks of action to be presented at the COP 23 in Bonn, Germany.

Read the Collective Statement of Intent on Cocoa and Forests here.

The full list of signatories is available here

IDH, The Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) and the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) will help facilitate the process in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana led by the national governments, cocoa companies, civil society donors and others, to work towards development of a common vision and joint framework of action, endorsed by key public, private, farmer, civil society, knowledge and development sector partners and (impact) investors. The framework will set out clear commitments, timelines, roles & responsibilities and indicate investment requirements.

Check our latest video to hear from some of the stakeholders working together in the Initiative. 

Global level

IDH, ISU and WCF will coordinate with the signatories of the statement on the building of the frameworks and associated commitments to be presented in November at COP23 in Bonn.

A global steering committee will be put in place to coordinate efforts in country and along the supply chain, and enables cross country learnings. This steering committee will also reach out to the international community, including donors, investors and initiatives like TFA 2020 and the CFG.

National Level

Public-private partnerships in country are supported by IDH and WCF to come to inclusive agreements to influence policy, improve governance and land-use management, work towards sustainable business practices and improve field level sustainability.

The joint frameworks of action will help end deforestation and forest degradation related to cocoa production in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire, while enabling green growth.

It is expected that the framework will hold commitments of public, private companies, farmers and civil society partners by the creation of:

  • an enabling environment (governance, regulation, policy);
  • measures (individual and collective);
  • field level investments (productivity, income diversification, professionalization, traceability, protection, land-use planning, land/tree tenure, amongst others).

Having such an agreement in place at national level, is a first step towards addressing cocoa related deforestation and economic green growth at landscape level.

By linking up the efforts with other commodity sectors (e.g. palm oil, rubber, timber, mining) and initiatives, the potential impact to reduce deforestation and enable green growth is further scaled up.

IDH already runs a landscape program in Côte D’Ivoire 

Inclusion of smallholder farmers

Smallholder farmers are a critical factor for implementing and delivering the potential benefits of the framework. In parallel to improved land use planning, there needs to be forest governance and management incentives created for smallholders and communities in the form of income improvement (productivity, quality and resilience). Professionalization, economic empowerment and inclusive development of cocoa communities will be a key, and a strong focus within this area will be on gender empowerment.

Catalyze investment in sustainable land-use

The joint framework for action includes (additional) investments of private and public partners in sustainable land use (not only focused on one commodity, or certain farms, but on all land-users in a defined geographic area).

Scale-up of the initiative is targeted in other cocoa regions and countries around the world. The impact of these investments will be social (increased, diversified income), economic (enabling green growth) and environmental (safeguarding remaining forest, restoring degraded forests and sustainable use of natural resources).

Building on existing initiatives

Building on existing initiatives is key to address deforestation. IDH and WCF will actively seek synergies with relevant initiatives. Especially the Tropical Forest Alliance: both Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire are signatories of the Declaration for the Sustainable Development of the Oil Palm Sector in Africa. Other relevant platforms in Ghana are set up by Solidaridad (mining), Touton, and AgroEco as well as the New Ghana Cocoa Platform.

An initiative of

Public-private investments in sustainable land use focused on all landusers in the area