Environmental Sustainability and Policy for Cocoa Production in Ghana
The “Environmental Sustainability and Policy for Cocoa Production in Ghana” project is a partnership between the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) and UNDP. The overall objective of the project is to create institutional systems, tools and policies to rehabilitate cocoa landscapes; conserve and expand forests, forest buffer zones and corridors; and incentivize cocoa farmers to adopt environmentally friendly best practices.
The project works to address key policy issues that pose major environmental threats to sustainable cocoa landscapes and to strengthen the institutions that work in the sector. Furthermore, the project is piloting mechanisms that serve as incentives to farmers to adopt environmentally sound production practices resulting in the rejuvenation of ecosystem goods and services, on-farm biodiversity, and increased productivity.
Taken together, project activities will promote a model that can be adopted nationally to enhance the capacity of COCOBOD and other stakeholders in the cocoa sector including farmers to participate in selected activities to maximize the economic benefits of sustainable production and biodiversity conservation as a counterweight to factors driving deforestation and environmental degradation. Lessons learned in the course of the implementation will be widely disseminated, especially to promote green commodities on the international market.
More than 9,600 smallholder farmers have been incentivized to adopt sound farming practices that reduce climate change and improve environmental quality.
This has occurred largely through training of cocoa farmers and community extension agents in environmental cocoa production practices, forest laws and regulations, and community tree tenure rights.
The US$ 1.7 million initiative has also piloted the establishment of Community Resource Management Areas (CREMA) with 36 communities in the Asunafo North Municipality to promote community rights to manage and benefit from natural resources.
The project has distributed more than 787,000 economic tree seedlings to farmers and rehabilitated 8,600 hectares of forests along waterways and protected areas.
Field monitoring records have shown a progressive planting success. This has motivated farmers to plant more trees, which shield the cocoa plants from excessive sunlight and keep the soil moist during dry seasons. The trees also serve as carbon sinks and provide oxygen, which replenishes the environment.
The total budget is US$ 1.7 million and it is financed by the Mondelēz Cocoa Life