HCSA and WCF Collaborate to Halt Deforestation in Cocoa

The High Carbon Stock Approach (HCSA) Steering Group and the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) have signed a memorandum of understanding to advance commitments to ending deforestation and forest degradation in the cocoa supply chain. This collaboration will contribute to the implementation of multilateral policy and corporate commitments in the cocoa sector to conserve High Carbon Stock (HCS) forests and High Conservation Value (HCV) areas that have high carbon, biodiversity and social values in tropical forest countries.

Judy Rodrigues, Executive Director of the High Carbon Stock Approach welcomes the collaboration and states, “The HCSA is excited to partner with the WCF and stand ready to work together to expand its impact in the cocoa sector. We are keen to build upon the HCSA’s success of preventing the deforestation of several million hectares of tropical forests and the conservation of over 575,000 hectares of HCS forests in the palm oil and pulp and paper sector to the cocoa sector.’’

She continues, “This collaboration will engage public and private sector stakeholders to facilitate and accelerate implementation of the HCSA methodology by companies and smallholder farmers in cocoa production landscapes.”

Ethan Budiansky, WCF’s Director of Environment said, “The HCS Approach is a proven methodology to identify forest areas that should be a priority for protection as part of a broader landscape-level approach. The partnership will be integral to supporting the implementation of the Cocoa & Forests Initiative in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana and advancing the cocoa sector’s commitments to no-deforestation, responsible land use management and conservation.”

The partnership will: identify key stakeholders in cocoa expansion frontiers with active deforestation and forest degradation, map the most effective areas for rights-based forest conservation, restoration and creation of forest corridors, engage with companies, governments, civil society and other stakeholders to pilot the HCS Approach in the field, and share learnings to identify opportunities for scaling-up the application of the HCS Approach including in new tropical forest regions in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

The memorandum of understanding was signed on 29 March 2019.

About the World Cocoa Foundation

WCF is a non-profit international membership organisation whose vision is a sustainable and thriving cocoa sector – where farmers prosper, cocoa-growing communities are empowered, human rights are respected, and the environment is conserved. WCF has more than 100 members that represent 85 percent of the global cocoa and chocolate sector.

In November 2017, the Governments of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana and the world’s leading cocoa and chocolate companies entered a public-private partnership called the Cocoa & Forests Initiative with the aim to end deforestation and promote forest restoration and protection in the cocoa supply chain. The Cocoa & Forests Initiative has been organised by the World Cocoa Foundation, IDH – the Sustainable Trade Initiative, and The Prince of Wales’s International Sustainability Unit, in partnership with the Governments of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana. For further information, please visit www.worldcocoafoundation.org.

About the HCS Approach

The HCS Approach is the first practical, field-tested methodology for distinguishing forest areas that should be protected or restored, from degraded lands that may be developed, using an integrated land use planning approach. The methodology was developed with the aim to ensure a practical, transparent, robust, and scientifically credible approach that is widely accepted to implement commitments to halt deforestation in the tropics, while ensuring the rights and livelihoods of local peoples are respected. The HCS Approach has allowed major plantations and supply chain actors to reduce their impact by not clearing or purchasing goods from HCS forests and High Conservation Value areas. For further information, please visit www.highcarbonstock.org.