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Forest Friendly Cocoa in Côte d'Ivoire
Author: Mondelez International, MINSEDD, REDD+Côte d'Ivoire and UNDP , Published on: 17 July 2017
How government, farmers, civil society, the private sector and other key stakeholders can work together and take action to remove deforestation from cocoa supply chains, safeguarding livelihoods as well as nationally and globally significant forests in Côte d'Ivoire...Côte d'Ivoire has seen extensive deforestation over the past decades. Cocoa farming, with 98 per cent of its production yielded by small holders, is one of the primary causes of deforestation in the country, making the cocoa production sector the key focus of the REDD+ mechanism. As consumer concern grows, there is growing momentum, led by the Government and increasingly supported by the private sector and other key stakeholders, to eliminate deforestation from cocoa supply chains in the country. This is especially critical in the country’s Southwest, where farmers are increasingly encroaching on the nationally and globally significant Tai National Park, one of the largest remnants of the vast forest system that once stretched across the region. Due to its biodiversity and crucial forest ecosystem, this National Park was designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site. Meanwhile, with the degredation of the environment around them, farming communities are also seeing a decrease in their quality of life, while their incomes are also dwindling, due to poor production practices and lack of investment into their farms. Today, the majority of Côte d'Ivoire forest cover is concentrated in protected areas and gazetted forests (2.16 million ha). This discussion paper puts forward a Strategy for Reduced Encroachment of Cocoa Farming into Legally Protected State-owned Forests. It lays out five steps for the sector – public and private – to work together to achieve this in a way that would enable those who rely on the producton of cocoa the most – smallholders – to gain the support they need to shift towards a more sustainable and profitable way of producing cocoa in Côte d'Ivoire.