The Forestry Commission, COCOBOD, and environmental NGO, Proforest have jointly launched engagement principles for the Ghana Cocoa Forest REDD+ program.
The engagement principles provide a clear pathway for partnership among key stakeholders to support national efforts at reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.
Steps in the guidance are designed to help companies and organizations know how to practically engage effectively with the Ghana Cocoa Forest REDD+ program and associated initiatives for mutual benefit.
Importantly, the principles provide an opportunity for institutions to meet their sustainability commitments whilst contributing to emission reduction and enhancement of livelihoods of communities in the agro-commodity landscapes.
According to the CEO of the Forestry Commission, John Allotey the program will incentivize cocoa farmers to plant more trees to restore Ghana’s forest cover.
“Once you are able to relate the economic development of those areas to the protection and development of the forest, the people are more likely to buy into the idea. For the cocoa landscape area, we are linking cocoa to the forest.”
“So for instance, every cocoa farmer is expected to plant a minimum of 18 trees per hector in his/her farm,” he said.
The Africa Regional Director of environmental NGO, Proforest, Abraham Baffoe also highlighted the need for a private-public partnership to stop deforestation in the country.
“We have engaged with private sector cocoa companies involved in chocolate production to agree to support Ghana’s government to implement the program.”
“We want to identify the degraded areas and try to restore them through artificial or natural regeneration where it is possible and that is what is enshrined in the document,” he added.