2016 – 2019
The EU REDD Facility engages with the Government of Côte d’Ivoire, the private sector and smallholders to support the development of deforestation-free cocoa production. The Facility supports partners to test an innovative incentive mechanism aimed at shifting cultivation practices while securing better livelihoods for smallholder cocoa farmers.
The objective of the EU REDD Facility is to support the Government of Côte d’Ivoire in building the enabling conditions for deforestation-free agricultural supply chains. The Facility partners with the National REDD+ Unit (SEP-REDD) of the Ministry in charge of the Environment, the multinational company Mondelēz and the Ivorian NGO IMPACTUM to support the implementation of the country’s national REDD+ Strategy.
This project takes places in the context of previous efforts of the EU REDD Facility and the UN-REDD Programme to assess the feasibility of a national Payment for Environmental Services (PES) scheme targeting smallholders implementing zero-deforestation practices. This assessment and stakeholder consultations held in 2015 led to the elaboration of a practical guide for PES implementation in Côte d’Ivoire.
In 2016, Mondelēz International, Côte d’Ivoire’s largest cocoa buyer, and the Government of Côte d’Ivoire entered into an innovative public-private partnership to test the practicalities of PES modalities and inform national policy. IMPACTUM facilitates implementation, with the support of the EU REDD Facility.
This project aims to improve agricultural productivity, food security and living conditions of cocoa farmers while preserving the remaining forests and conserving the biodiversity found in Mondelēz’s production basin. More specifically, its objectives are to:
The tree nurseries are managed by the local cooperatives, AVEC.
Côte d’Ivoire’s deforestation rate is one of the highest in the world. The national forest cover dropped from 50% (16 million hectares) of the total country area in 1960 to 10% (3.4 million hectares) in 2016. The expansion of cocoa production is the key direct driver for this rapid forest cover loss.
Since 2014, Côte d’Ivoire has taken ambitious commitments to decouple cocoa production from deforestation and restore forest cover to 20% of its territory by 2030. Private companies have expressed their commitment to eliminate deforestation of their supply chains and contribute to the objective of restoring the Ivorian forest cover. Mondelēz International is contributing to these objectives through the environment pillar of its CocoaLife program.
Yet challenges to engage smallholder cocoa producers into sustainable practices, such as agroforestry or replantation, are many. Smallholder farmers, most of which live close to the poverty line, lack the financial capacity to invest in input or seedlings that would provide them increased yields or alternative revenues. Land tenure insecurity and illegal logging practices also hinder the introduction of trees in cocoa plantations, or the reforestation of degraded areas.
This project aims to contribute to forest cover restauration by promoting agroforestry, reforestation and conservation by mobilising and building support for local actors using a PES mechanism. The mechanism is based on voluntary contracts between local cocoa farmers or communities and the PES operator IMPACTUM to implement zero-deforestation activities in exchange of technical and financial support.
The first PES pilot project is being implemented in Mondelēz’s main supply basin in the Nawa region for three years (2016-2019). The project consists in incentivising local cocoa farmers and communities to engage in zero-deforestation activities, such as agroforestry, reforestation and conservation, through individual or community contracts. Incentives for smallholders combine: 1) access to input and seedlings, 2) technical support for plantation management, and 3) financial bonus when activities have been conducted with success. Community contracts are based on the provision of social infrastructure in exchange of successful reforestation or conservation actions.
Before implementing the pilot PES scheme, the project partners started by raising awareness and training cocoa producers and local communities on climate change, deforestation, the forest legal framework and PES. Secondly, they surveyed PES candidates and trained them on agroforestry techniques. Lastly, the different land uses were mapped in the project region to identify remaining forest areas and ensure the effective implementation of the PES scheme.
The local NGO IMPACTUM, contracted by Mondelēz and the Government as PES operator, is responsible for information dissemination, the creation of tree nurseries, tree caretakers training, the identification and survey of PES candidates, the signing of PES contracts, and follow-up on compliance through an established monitoring and evaluation framework.
Smallholder cocoa farmers will be able to choose between several tree species, such as Tek.