At the UN Climate Change Conference (COP23), top cocoa-producing countries Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana with leading chocolate and cocoa companies have announced far-reaching Frameworks for Action to end deforestation and restore forest areas.  Central to the Frameworks is a commitment to no further conversion of any forest land for cocoa production.  The companies and governments pledged to eliminate illegal cocoa production in national parks, in line with stronger enforcement of national forest policies and development of alternative livelihoods for affected farmers. Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana combined produce nearly two-thirds of the world’s annual supply of cocoa, the main ingredient in chocolate and a range of other consumer products.

The set of public-private actions represent unprecedented commitments on forest protection and restoration, and sustainable cocoa production and farmer livelihoods. These combined actions, which are aligned with the Paris Climate Agreement, will play a crucial role in sequestering carbon stocks and thereby addressing global and local climate change.

Final Frameworks are available here:

Ghana Framework

CDI FrameworkCDI Cadre d’Action Commune

Both countries announced plans to introduce a differentiated approach for improved management of forest reserves, based on the level of degradation of the forests.  Up-to-date maps on forest cover and land-use, as well as socio-economic data on cocoa farmers and their communities will be developed and publicly shared by the governments. Chocolate and cocoa industry agree to put in place verifiable monitoring systems for traceability from farm to the first purchase point for their own purchases of cocoa, and will work with the governments of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana to ensure an effective national framework for traceability for all traders in the supply chain.

The two governments and companies agree through the Frameworks to accelerate investment in long-term sustainable production of cocoa, with an emphasis on “growing more cocoa on less land,”. Key actions include provision of improved planting materials, training in good agricultural practices, and development and capacity-building of farmers’ organizations.  Sustainable livelihoods and income diversification for cocoa farmers will be accelerated through food crop diversification, agricultural inter-cropping, development of mixed agro-forestry systems, and other income generating activities designed to boost and diversify household income while protecting forests.

The governments and companies, which represent and estimated 80+ percent of global cocoa usage, commit to full and effective consultation and participation of cocoa farmers in the process, and promotion of community-based management models for forest protection and restoration. The governments will assess and mitigate the social impacts and risks of any proposed land-use changes on affected communities, and ensure provision of alternative livelihoods and restoration of standard of living of affected communities as needed.

The governments and companies have committed to a comprehensive monitoring process, including a satellite-based monitoring system to track progress on the overall deforestation target, and annual publicly disclosed reporting on progress and outcomes related to the specific actions in each Framework.


Deforestation of tropical rainforests is a major issue in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, which together produce nearly two-thirds of the world’s supply of cocoa, the main ingredient in chocolate and a range of other consumer products. Over a ten-year period, approximately 2.1 million hectares of forest area have been cleared in Côte d’Ivoire and 820,000 hectares in Ghana. One quarter of this deforestation has been attributed to cocoa production. Sustainable cocoa production provides crucial employment and income to local communities in both countries, underpinning national social and economic development. Accelerated transition to sustainable livelihoods is essential for ensuring the long term economic viability of over two million smallholder farmers who earn income from the crop’s production.

Building on existing initiatives

Building on existing initiatives is key to address deforestation. The Frameworks 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.

The Road to Bonn

The world’s leading cocoa and chocolate companies agreed to a statement of collective intent, in March 2017, 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.

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) facilitated 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.

Check a video showing stakeholders together in the Initiative. 

The Cocoa & Forest Initiative is generously support by: P4F, SECO and BUZA.

An initiative of
Related info

Approach: Service Delivery Models

Sector: Cocoa

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


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