10/25/2023

Sustainable value chains

Cocoa pods: the IKI supports the establishment of deforestation-free supply chains

The IKI supports the transition from deforestation-free supply chains to sustainable landscapes and sectors. 

Producer country governments and global companies have committed themselves to eliminating deforestation and reducing the greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) associated with agriculture. Often, however, actions to implement these commitments are taken in isolation.

Collaboration beyond individual supply chains and the alignment of company actions with producer country-led initiatives can lead to increased efficiency and shared responsibilities in tackling deforestation on a large scale. This is especially important for smallholder-dominant production landscapes and commodities such as cocoa and palm oil. 

Bringing global companies and producer initiatives together

Launched in 2020, Proforest’s IKI-funded project aims to align the supply chain actions of global companies with producer country-led initiatives to tackle deforestation and implement climate mitigation. 

This project has taken a practical approach towards building multi-stakeholder collaboration, within production landscapes and in commodity sectors. It builds on jurisdictional REDD+ processes and aims to make space to bring the private sector into the process to support positive action on deforestation and climate change mitigation. 

Local stakeholders are key for deforestation action 

As we know, from many years of development and climate assistance, action on deforestation cannot be taken without the engagement and support of local stakeholders: producers, communities and local government. This is where change is necessary. At the same time, action is needed at national government level – to set the agenda, develop policies and align action with national climate mitigation initiatives.

This project builds on existing initiatives in very different contexts to push forward both of these approaches in Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire and Peru. 

In Ghana, the project has built on the Ghana Cocoa and Forests REDD Plus Programme, in coordination with the Forestry Commission. There was an opportunity here to consolidate and build on the Asunafo-Asutifi landscape initiative by delivering capacity building and collective management planning in one of the Ghana Forestry Commission’s Hotspot Intervention Areas. The action taken is practical, on the ground and embedded in the jurisdictional REDD+ programme.

Using the project’s knowledge of jurisdictional and landscape approaches, the project worked in Cote d’Ivoire with the government, local communities and local government to establish the San Pedro Landscape Initiative from the start – again aligning the project with national processes and engaging local stakeholders to develop a collective management plan for this cocoa-producing landscape. 

In Peru, with a very different national and local context, the project has focused on helping to develop national policies for sustainability in the cocoa, palm oil and livestock sectors. At the same time, it has built capacity among small producers and their associations in the existing sustainability initiatives around San Martin.

Lessons learned for sustainable production

There are substantial practical challenges involved in working in multi-stakeholder initiatives to deliver sustainable production landscapes and sectors. The project has important lessons for us in Europe, as we seek to implement legislation such as the EU Deforestation Regulation and the EU Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive, as well as a multitude of corporate commitments to deforestation-free and exploitation-free supply chains. This is especially true among smallholder production systems such as cocoa and palm oil. It is essential to drive and support change at the level of both the production landscapes and national governments if we are to move from deforestation-free supply chains to genuinely sustainable production landscapes.

For more information on Proforest, visit www.proforest.net

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