Key Achievements in 2022

Côte d’Ivoire Cocoa and Forests Initiative 2022 Annual Report

Since its independence, Côte d’Ivoire’s economic development has been based primarily on agriculture, particularly cocoa farming. Cocoa, of which Côte d’Ivoire is the world’s leading producer, is the main driver of the country’s economic growth. It contributes around 15% of GDP and over 40% of export earnings.

This economic growth has been at the expense of the country’s forest heritage. As a result, the country’s primary forest has gradually been transformed into a mosaic of secondary forests, cash crop plantations, food crops and fallow land. Forest cover fell from 16 million hectares in 1960 to 7.9 million hectares in 1990, 3.4 million hectares in 2015 and 2.97 million hectares in 2020. A loss of forest cover of over 75%, more than half of which in the last 30 years.

Cocoa farming is considered one of the major causes of forest degradation in Côte d’Ivoire. In order to reverse the trend of deforestation caused by cocoa farming, the Governments of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana and +30 cocoa and chocolate companies  signed the Cocoa and Forests Initiative Joint Framework for Action, in November 2017, on the sidelines of COP 23, in Bonn, Germany.

The Cocoa and Forest Initiative aims to halt deforestation and promote forest protection and restoration within the cocoa supply chain. The JFA defines core commitments, major actions, verifiable measures and targets, with a timetable for implementation, for a deforestation-free supply chain that promotes forest protection.

In 2018, the Government of Côte d’Ivoire and its cocoa industry partners translated the JFA commitments into an implementation plan covering a three-year period (2018-2020), known as the pilot phase. At the end of this pilot phase, satisfactory results were recorded, including the

  • Reform of the legislative and regulatory framework for the forestry sector with the adoption of the new Forestry Code on July 23rd, 2019 ;
  • Strengthening supply chain mapping ;
  • Promoting agroforestry ;
  • The launch of a project to set up a unified national cocoa traceability system;
  • The adoption of a satellite-based forest monitoring system as part of the CFI.

These results were achieved, on the one hand, through collaboration and consultation between the public institutions concerned and, on the other, between public and private sector players. However, a number of challenges have been identified and still need to be addressed, including: increasing investment from the private sector and technical and financial partners in forest protection and restoration; the implementation of a unified national cocoa traceability system; the operationalization of the national forest monitoring system and the effective mobilization of financial resources to fund the initiative’s activities. The signatories of the CFI JFA have jointly decided to implement a second phase of this initiative through the adoption of an action plan covering the period 2022-2025.

This report covers the results from the transition year 2022. You will find the pdf version hereCôte d'Ivoire Cocoa & Forests Initiative 2022 Annual ReportDownload file or the French version here.

Interested in the CFI Ghana report? Find it here.

Selection of classified forests, parks and reserves as priority landscapes for collective investment.

During the first phase of the CFI (2018-2020), five priority regions were selected to conduct activities, based on criteria related to forest preservation, cocoa production and population density. These are: Guémon, Cavally, Nawa, San Pedro and La Mé. Projects have been carried out in these regions by the various partners, with differing approaches leading to more or less effective results.

The evaluation carried out at the end of the first phase having identified the need for collective concerted action (by stakeholders from the public and private sectors, civil society and technical and financial partners) to generate maximum impact, six (06) classified forests, parks and reserves were selected to focus CFI’s action during the second phase, namely :

  1. Parc National du Mont Péko (34,000 ha)
  2. Nature reserve of Bossématié (21,550 ha)
  3. Nature reserve of Mabi-Yaya (61,282 ha)
  4. Classified forest of Tamin  (24,934 ha)
  5. Classified forest of  Yapo Abbé (24,592 ha)
  6. Classified forest of Cavally (64,200 ha)

The selection of these landscapes, validated by the CFI Steering Committee at its December 2022 meeting, was based on criteria such as :

  • Geographical position in relation to the main cocoa-producing areas: the selected landscapes are located in the regions that contribute most to cocoa production in Côte d’Ivoire.
  • Level of conservation: priority has been given to forests classified as category 1 & 2 (i.e. with a conservation level of over 50%) and to parks and reserves, to encourage the protection of the country’s main primary forest relics.
  • Deforestation risk: the landscapes selected are the most exposed in terms of deforestation risk.
  • Connection to current programs/activities.

The second phase will be dedicated to mobilizing collective investments within these priority areas, using the landscape approach.

Validation of the 2022-2025 action plan and launch of CFI phase II

After a relatively successful pilot phase between 2018 and 2020, the year 2022 served to ta

ke stock of CFI and identify a new guideline to guide partner action for the next three years. The 2022-2025 action plan was developed through an inclusive and collaborative approach. It is centered around CFI’s three key pillars of i) Forest protection and restoration, ii) Agroforestry and sustainable production and iii) Social inclusion and community engagement. Under each axis, the plan includes objectives and activities.

Strengthening CFI governance

Recognizing the importance of strengthened governance for the successful implementation of the second phase of the CFI (2022-2025), the partners agreed on certain changes to make the CFI more inclusive and effective, including:

  1. A draft amendment to the decree creating the CFI Steering Committee, with a better division of prerogatives between the initiative’s management bodies, was approved.
  2. The CFI Project Coordination Unit within MINEF is now operational.
  3. The Permanent Secretariat was strengthened by the addition of new members, representing organizations that are important stakeholders in the implementation of the CFI, such as: the Conseil du Café-Cacao, the Ivorian Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Development (MINEDD) and the World Cocoa Foundation.

Message from Laurent Tchagba, Minister of Water and Forests, Chairman of the Cocoa and Forests Initiative Steering Committee

At the last Steering Committee meeting of the Cocoa and Forests Initiative held in December 2022, the Initiative’s 2022-2025 action plan was validated. It aims not only to consolidate the achievements of the 2018-2020 pilot phase, but also to increase the impact of the actions initiated, with the major challenge of mobilizing the financial resources required for the successful implementation of the Cocoa and Forests Initiative.

In addition, the implementation of the Unified National Cocoa Traceability System and the National Forest Monitoring and Deforestation Early Warning System, together with a monitoring and verification mechanism, are challenges that have been taken up and that must be worked on.

In fact, our impetus has been matched by the requirements of the new European regulations on imported deforestation, which also show us the usefulness of resolving as quickly as possible the challenges already identified, to which our actions and commitments militate in favor of their total resolution. This is an imperative challenge to take up, given the increasingly demanding pressure from cocoa consumers and civil society regarding the traceability of exported agricultural and forestry products. Fortunately, the initial results of collaboration between the signatories of the Cocoa and Forests Initiative are encouraging.
However, I encourage all stakeholders in the Cocoa and Forests Initiative without distinction (WCF, IDH, cocoa and chocolate companies) to join forces with each other, alongside the Ivorian government and technical and financial partners, to promote a sustainable cocoa economy that respects the environment and preserves the forest heritage, through the successful implementation of the CFI 2022-2025 action plan.


Message from Chris Vincent, President of the World Cocoa Foundation

The World Cocoa Foundation (WCF), representing its members in the global cocoa and chocolate industry, warmly congratulates the government of Côte d’Ivoire on its progress and achievements under the Cocoa and Forests Initiative (CFI).

Since the launch of CFI in 2017, the government of Côte d’Ivoire, under the leadership of the Ministry of Water and Forests, has made remarkable progress, developing partnerships and coordinating the collaborative efforts of key stakeholders in the country. The government continues to strengthen its commitment to achieving the CFI’s objectives, notably through the adoption of a forest policy favorable to private sector participation in forest conservation and restoration actions, and the development of national systems for traceability and satellite monitoring of forest cover. We would like to thank all our governmental partners for their support in ensuring the transparency of the CFI with the publication of this 2022 activity report.

Over the past year, companies have also continued to make significant progress in their investments to combat cocoa-related deforestation and restore degraded landscapes. To name but a few, by 2022 companies have :

  • Mapped 567,264 farms and achieved 85% traceability in their direct supply chains;
  • Contributed to the transformation of 191,040 ha of cocoa plots into agroforestry plots;
  • Trained 402,090 farmers in good farming practices, including 232,199 farmers in climate-smart cocoa farming.

The success and partnership-building we have achieved in the first five years of the CFI will form the basis of the Initiative’s current phase 2, which is designed to increase and accelerate impact on the ground. To achieve our goal of eliminating deforestation associated with cocoa production and restoring degraded forests, we are focusing on strengthening collaboration for collective action in priority landscapes, focused on forest conservation and restoration. To this end, last year we worked with the government and other stakeholders to identify these priority landscapes and, by deploying multi-stakeholder processes, we are currently working to develop management plans for the first priority landscapes, with the aim of starting collective action in 2023.
To achieve our vision of a deforestation-free cocoa sector, collaboration and partnerships will be essential, and we look forward to reporting on progress in these priority landscapes next year.


Message from Daan Wensing, CEO of IDH

During 2022, the Cocoa and Forests Initiative (CFI) entered a second phase of implementation to increase its impact through the commitment of all. IDH has been a partner in this initiative from the outset, bringing together stakeholders on this journey towards zero deforestation and forest restoration in cocoa value chains. Our joint efforts have achieved major results in terms of forestry policies, traceability and agroforestry, but it has become clear that a continuation of these efforts is necessary to achieve the impact sought by the signatories. Deforestation in Côte d’Ivoire continues, irrespective of cocoa’s exact contribution to it: this trend must be reversed. To achieve this, all players must be mobilized. In terms of mobilizing resources, implementing plans and advancing public-private partnerships.

Based on this principle, the members of the Côte d’Ivoire GSI Steering Committee agreed on key priorities that will enable signatories to focus on areas for improvement in order to act more effectively. The implementation period for the second phase has been set from 2022 to 2025, during which time CFI signatories have committed to investing collectively in the landscape approach. They will maintain a high level of ambition to achieve sustainable cocoa production in line with forest preservation.

CFI activities are aligned with existing national forest protection plans and policies, so that public and private sector activities are harmonized. In 2022, we saw a strengthening of collective action on all fronts. These include collaboration to promote agroforestry practices, find solutions to land tenure challenges for cocoa farmers, and landscape engagement in selected forest, park and reserve intervention zones.

To take CFI to the next level, we believe that additional investment is needed, building on mixed landscape financing and leveraging carbon investments. Appropriate public policies are therefore needed to guide and facilitate these investments. As such, IDH advocates the implementation of projects in the priority landscapes identified: Bossématié, Cavally, Mabi-Yaya, Mont Peko, Tamin and Yapo-Abbé. Symbolizing the public-private partnership that the CFI represents, these projects will serve as the basis for the realization of this collective, participative and concerted approach to sustainable cocoa farming.

International developments such as the adoption of the African regional standard for sustainable cocoa and the roll-out of the European regulation on deforestation, as well as the national sustainable cocoa strategy developed by the Ivorian government, are also high on the agenda of the Cocoa and Forests Initiative. As IDH, we will continue to play our part in facilitating political dialogue.

As we strive to put people, planet and progress at the heart of trade, we believe that with these measures, CFI Phase 2 will continue to make an impact through collaborative action. We look forward to a productive period in which signatories invest in sustainable cocoa production while preserving forests and wildlife in Côte d’Ivoire.

Deforestation trends based on satellite monitoring

After a clear decline in deforestation observed since 2019 (47,000 ha of loss from 2019 to 2020 and 26,000 ha of forest loss in 2021), the year 2022 was marked by an upturn in trends (62,000 ha of loss recorded), as shown on the map below. The root causes of this resurgence of deforestation in Côte d’Ivoire, despite the actions taken, are still being studied to give rise to targeted action.

In the meantime, faced with this situation, the partners stepped up their actions in 2022. Several awareness-raising and reforestation actions were carried out under the leadership of the Ministry of Water and Forests (MINEF). In 2022, MINEF reforested 52,174 hectares (ha) of land. These efforts have been combined with those of the private sector, notably: the restoration of 1,885 ha of forest in rural areas, the restoration of 35,562 ha of forest reserves and classified forests, and the training of 257,425 producers in the new forestry code, law enforcement, forest protection and restoration.

Furthermore, to reinforce the impact of their actions, CFI partners have decided to favor a collective, landscape-oriented approach for the second phase of CFI.

The six forests, parks and reserves pre-selected for the second phase of CFI

PLEASE NOTE: The trends presented above were developed on the basis of the IMAGES tool, identified in 2019 as the deforestation monitoring tool for CFI in Côte d’Ivoire. Since 2021, Côte d’Ivoire has undertaken to set up a national deforestation monitoring system. This national system, preliminary work on which has begun with CFI support, should be available by 2024. In the meantime, the CFI Steering Committee has validated the use of IMAGES as a provisional tool, until the national system becomes available. Field missions to validate/verify data collected as part of deforestation alerts project are planned for 2023.

National forest monitoring and deforestation early warning system

Côte d’Ivoire is actively engaged in the fight against deforestation linked to agriculture in general and cocoa farming in particular. To guide actions in this direction, it is essential to have reliable data on the evolution of forest cover and deforestation alerts in real time, enabling field actions to be directed.

With this in mind, the Ivorian government has undertaken to set up a “national forest monitoring and early warning system for deforestation “. As part of the design and development of this system, an inter-ministerial working group, comprising the ministries and structures concerned by the issue of deforestation in Côte d’Ivoire (MINEF – CFI, Ministry of Planning and Development, MEMINADER, MINEDD, BNETD), chaired by the Director of Cabinet of the Minister of Water and Forests, was set up in 2022. This work is being carried out with the support of the European Union (EU) Delegation and technical assistance from the European Forest Institute (EFI), and in consultation with the private sector.

The main objective of this system is to support sustainable agriculture in Côte d’Ivoire. It is in line with Côte d’Ivoire’s preparation for the implementation of the new EU regulation against imported deforestation (EUDR). Thus, the reference year identified for the landuse map on which the analyses will be based is 2020, the cut-off year for the EUDR.

Two key indicators in preparation for implementation of the EUDR have been defined and are due to be published in 2023: the land use map for the 2020 reference year and the specifications for the national forest monitoring system.

In order to produce the land use map, field data collection missions took place during the first phase of 2022. These data were collected with a view to finalizing the map with several innovations enabling it to be adapted to the needs of the new European Union regulations on imported deforestation, those of sustainable agriculture in general and the National Sustainable Cocoa Strategy in particular.

With regard to the development of the system’s specifications, consultations with stakeholders, including CFI signatory companies, have been completed and the provisional version of the specifications with the system’s features, including early warning, has been sent to stakeholders for comment.

These developments are part of the process of preparing companies to comply with the EUDR. Discussions are planned on the question of interoperability between the various satellite monitoring and traceability systems for cocoa. The national forest monitoring system will be used by all public, private and civil society players.

Development and implementation of public forest management policies

In addition to awareness-raising and reforestation actions, MINEF has focused on the development and dissemination of policies that can contribute to better forest protection.

Thus, in the course of 2022, two (2) draft decrees have been initiated.

  • « Projet d’Arrêté portant institution de documents de collecte de données et de circulation des produits issus de l’exploitation forestière » This regulation will support the fight against the illegal exploitation of forest products, through strict monitoring and control of the circulation of these products. To this end, logging data collection and product circulation documents will be drawn up to facilitate verification of the legality and traceability of harvested forest products.
  • « Projet d’Arrêté portant organisation, composition, attribution et fonctionnement du comité d’analyse et de suivi des rapports d’observation indépendante » It will improve forest governance by involving all stakeholders. Thus, through independent observation, which is understood as a non-regal mission of observation of forestry and agroforestry activities by civil society, credible and verifiable information on forest management will be gathered and shared.


National Strategy for Sustainable Cocoa Farming
Côte d’Ivoire has adopted a single framework for action for all stakeholders, the “Déclaration de politique et Stratégie Nationale pour une Cacaoculture Durable (SNCD)”. This declaration was adopted by the Council of Ministers on March 30th, 2022, with the aim of effectively and pragmatically addressing, by 2030, issues linked to the economic, environmental and social sustainability of cocoa farming. It covers three (3) key areas:

  • Improving cocoa farmers’ incomes
  • The fight against deforestation of the Ivorian forest cover, with the aim of increasing the forest cover rate from 11% in 2015 to 20% by 2030
  • The fight against child labor, with the aim of eradicating the worst forms of child labor and work below the minimum working age in cocoa production in Côte d’Ivoire by 2025.

To create a framework for participative support, a National Committee for Sustainable Cocoa (CNCD) was created by Prime Ministerial Order n°0379, dated March 30th, 2022, establishing the powers, organization and operation of the National Committee for the Implementation of the National Strategy for Sustainable Cocoa Farming (SNCD).

This strategy gives CFI a stronger foothold to facilitate the implementation and monitoring of initiatives to protect and restore forests in Côte d’Ivoire.


Landscape investments: public-private partnerships

The Forest Preservation, Restoration and Extension Strategy (“SPREF”) gives pride of place to the contribution of the private sector to forest management. In order to preserve, restore and extend Ivorian forests in general, and classified forests in particular, MINEF has entered into partnerships with players in the Ivorian private sector. To this end, memorandums of understanding and agreements have been signed between MINEF and companies to support the achievement of objectives within the classified forests.
In 2022, this collaboration saw the validation of :

  • A partnership agreement between MINEF and AKATIA, for the creation, development and management of a primate conservation center (sanctuary) in the Comoé 1 classified forest and a chimpanzee conservation center in the Yapo-Abbé classified forest
  • A memorandum of understanding with Cargill WA for the rehabilitation and conservation of the Dassioko FC
  • An agreement with AGRO-MAP for the rehabilitation and conservation of the FCs of Haut-Sassandra, Gorké and Goudi aimed at enhancing the carbon and biodiversity potential of the FCs concerned
  • An agreement to carry out a feasibility study for the conservation, restoration and sustainable development of the FC.

Other landscape initiatives in the Mé and Agnéby-Tiassa regions have made appreciable progress. Thanks to the ” Promoting deforestation-free cocoa production to reduce emissions ” (PROMIRE) project, 163 ha of forest have been restored in the Agnéby-Tiassa, Mé and Sud regions. 834 ha of cocoa plots have been converted to agroforestry systems, including 206 hectares created with the “Fondation Marie-Esther” women’s group.


Emissions reductions
As part of the results-based payments phase of the REDD+ mechanism in Côte d’Ivoire, the Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Program (PRE) around the Taï National Park is a first attempt at large-scale implementation of green development in the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire since 2020. The implementation of the PRE around the Taï National Park has made it possible to reduce deforestation and increase carbon sequestration by focusing on participative, inclusive and, above all, incentive-based management of forest areas with local communities. Indeed, the activities and sub-projects linked mainly to the “sustainable management of classified forests and conservation of protected areas and sacred forests” strategic option involve taking into account local communities living alongside, using or owning the natural resources concerned. This approach favors an inclusive and participatory management of all stakeholders, leading to better results in terms of forest conservation and, consequently, the reduction of GES emissions. Indeed, the results evaluated for the period 2020-2021 indicate a reduction in emissions of around 7 million tCO2eq.

All the projects initiated aim to enhance the carbon and biodiversity potential of the implementation zone, including agroforestry plantations, nature reserves and the FC concerned.


Sustainable production and agroforestry

In order to guarantee long-term cocoa productivity in a sustainable and environmentally-friendly way, CFI signatory members are committed to producing more cocoa on less land”. This involves implementing actions to improve plantation productivity while developing the practice of agroforestry in cocoa cultivation for optimum production. Cocoa agroforestry has the potential to deliver multiple benefits for both the farmer and the environment. Unlike cocoa planted as a single crop in full sun, a cocoa agroforestry system combines cocoa trees, non-cocoa tree species and other agricultural crops (e.g. fruit, timber, and/or nuts) in the same area to deliver environmental and economic benefits.

In 2022, MINEF, through its decentralized structures, participated in the conversion of 32,473 ha of cocoa plots into agroforestry plots.

In 2022, the private sector contributed to the transformation of 191,040 ha of cocoa plots into agroforestry plots. In addition, increased training of cocoa farmers was carried out to build their capacity and enable them to produce sustainably. As a result, 231,199 farmers were trained in climate-smart cocoa production, and 402,090 farmers were trained in good farming practices.

Within CFI, agroforestry activities are coordinated by the Conseil du Café-Cacao, in close collaboration with WCF.

Agroforestry policies : The ARS 1000 standard for sustainable cocoa

Faced with the challenges of cocoa sustainability, characterized in large part by the problems of child labor and deforestation in Côte d’Ivoire, Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, as part of their cooperation, have, together with all the stakeholders in the cocoa sector, drawn up an African Standard in the ARS 1000 series, based on the international standard ISO 34101.

The ARS 1000 standard for sustainable cocoa was approved and published on June 15th, 2021, under the auspices of ARSO/TC 06, coffee, cocoa, tea and related products at the 64ème Council of the African Regional Standards Organization in Kigali. It provides a framework for sustainable cocoa bean production, based on the principle of continuous improvement.

The Standard is divided into three (3) parts:

  • Part 1 (ARS 1000-1): Requirements for Management Systems of Cocoa Producers as Entities/Groups of Producers/Cooperatives of Producers and Performance
  • Part 2 (ARS 1000-2): Requirements for Cocoa Quality and Traceability
  • Part 3 (ARS 1000-3): Requirements for Cocoa Certification Systems

Once the ARS 1000 standard had been adopted, it was up to each member country of the African Regional Standards Organization to implement it, adapting it to its own specific context. As far as Côte d’Ivoire is concerned, several actions have been carried out, and results related to the preparatory phase for the implementation of ARS 1000 have already been achieved. These include :

  • The issuance of Decree N°202-393 of June 08th, 2022, regulating the implementation of the ARS 1000 standard for sustainable cocoa and making the standard compulsory. This decree sets a deadline of twenty-four (24) months for national cocoa production to comply with the standards;
  • The development and validation, by consensus, by all players in the sector, of the relevant and adapted Operational Guide, reflecting the specificities applicable to Côte d’Ivoire in the context of the implementation of the ARS 1000 Standard in cocoa production;
  • Development and validation of technical documents associated with the Operational Guide :
    • Guide to agroforestry techniques ;
    • Guide to training agricultural technicians and producers in cocoa bean production that meets the requirements of the economic, social and environmental pillars of sustainability;
    • Studies on the initial costs of certification, the results of which were used to draw up practical technical documents for implementing the ARS 1000 standard;

The project document for the pilot phase is currently being validated; this final stage will mark the start of implementation of the Standard in Côte d’Ivoire.


Conseil Café-Cacao’s contribution to reforestation in Côte d’Ivoire
The aim of the Conseil du Café-cacao’s strategy of contributing to reforestation is to increase the resilience of coffee and cocoa farming in the current forestry context, for the sustainability of production and the well-being of producer communities. To this end, interventions are structured around the following three main axes :

  • Optimization of all agroforestry promotion actions initiated in the coffee-cocoa sector through the coordination of agroforestry promotion actions by partners in the coffee-cocoa sector.
  • The promotion of agroforestry systems in coffee and cocoa cultivation by raising awareness, educating and training producers and rural stakeholders, supporting producers in installing agroforestry systems in their plantations, and working with research to determine and document technical standards in this field in a participatory manner, and to ensure ongoing reinforcement.
  • Reinforcing reforestation actions already initiated by the Conseil du Café-Cacao and encouraging individual and community reforestation in production areas.

Within this framework, support is provided to cocoa producers to bring their plots into compliance with the ARS 1000 standard. The latter benefit from technical capacity-building and forest tree seedlings. In 2022, 4,145,589 tree seedlings were planted in cocoa-producing areas as a result of the support provided to producers.

Eventually, all cocoa plantations in Côte d’Ivoire will have to be transformed into agroforestry systems meeting the requirements of the ARS 1000 standard. Agroforestry techniques are now an integral part of the cocoa growing system in Côte d’Ivoire.



As part of the CFI, Côte d’Ivoire has begun setting up a unified national traceability system.

This system will make it possible to verify the origin of the cocoa to be exported on the international market, and also to comply with the requirements of the new European regulations (EUDR). This project is led by the Conseil du Café-Cacao.

On the other hand, by 2022, CFI signatory companies have mapped 567,264 cocoa plots and carried out deforestation risk assessments on 2,078,338 ha of plots in the direct cocoa supply chain, enabling them to achieve 85% traceability in their direct cocoa supply chains.

This project is a key pillar for the operationalization of the European Union Regulation on the placing on the market and export from the European Union of certain commodities and derived products associated with deforestation and forest degradation, adopted in 2022. This regulation aims to minimize the risk of deforestation and forest degradation associated with products imported into or exported from the European Union.

In 2022, to ensure social inclusion and community participation, MINEF organized an awareness-raising workshop for traditional chiefs. The aim was to reiterate the crucial role of customary guarantors in achieving social inclusion within village communities. In addition, MINEF’s “Femmes & Forêts” project, which aims to involve women and put them at the heart of the drive to reforest the forest cover, worked with a women’s association to create a 2ha agroforestry plot and set up an income-generating activity for them.

For its part, the private sector has initiated programs enabling 81,628 people to benefit from income-generating activities. It has also enabled the creation of 6,395 savings and credit groups involving 162,936 people. As part of community involvement and participatory management initiatives for forest restoration and protection, 416 communities were involved in active private sector programs. With a view to social inclusion, 92,489 women were involved in women’s empowerment projects and activities, while 15,576 young people (aged 15-35) took part in youth-oriented projects and activities. 6,146 ha of forest were restored and protected by communities through forest restoration and protection programs.

In terms of partner initiatives, the PROMIRE project has facilitated the creation of a women’s conventional cocoa production cooperative in the La Mé region and the setting up of 15 committees to draw up local development plans, with over 30% of women represented.

Key decisions of the Steering Committee

The Steering Committee, the strategic orientation and decision-making body of the Cocoa and Forests Initiative, is chaired by the Côte d’Ivoire Minister of Water and Forests. Its mandate is to :

  • Provide strategic direction and impetus for the operation of the structures set up by the CAC ;
  • Validate the proposals made by the Technical Committee ;
  • Guarantee the governance of the Common Framework for Action.

In 2022, the Steering Committee met twice, in March and December 2022. These meetings resulted in the selection of CFI’s priority forests and landscapes, approval of CFI’s 2022-2025 action plan, and the 2023 priorities for the initiative.

Ghana-Côte d’Ivoire Exchange meeting

With the aim of enabling the CFI secretariats of both countries to develop strategies on how to encourage signatories to step up their actions, and to hold signatories accountable for implementing phase two plans to meet their commitments, an exchange meeting between the CFI secretariats of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana was organized. It enabled members of both CFI secretariats to share ideas on key topics and identify avenues for collaboration in 2023. Topics discussed included: (i) how the secretariats can effectively promote public-private collaboration for forest conservation and restoration, and support the roll-out of national action plans and individual company action plans, with an emphasis on collective action and landscape approaches; (ii) what approaches can be implemented to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the national secretariats; and (iii) national, regional and international policies and regulations applicable to CFI signatories.

CFI participation at COP 27

The 27th Conference of the Parties (COP 27) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, held in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, in November 2022, crystallized the expectations of African countries. During the conference, CFI organized a high-level panel in the Ghana pavilion on November 10th, 2022, which attracted a very mixed audience.

The aim of the event was to catalyze commitment and collaboration with the international community to accelerate and amplify the impact of the Cocoa and Forests Initiative in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana. The event was attended by a number of high-ranking dignitaries, including Laurent Tchagba, Minister of Water and Forests.

Mr. Laurent TCHAGBA presented the alignment of the Cocoa and Forest Initiative with Côte d’Ivoire’s national priorities, in particular its contribution to the goal of 20% national forest cover by 2030. He emphasized CFI’s contribution to Côte d’Ivoire’s climate commitment. Indeed, the Cocoa and Forests Initiative, which main objective is to reduce deforestation in the cocoa supply chain, and to preserve and restore forests, represents a major opportunity for all stakeholders in the cocoa sector to contribute to reducing Côte d’Ivoire’s greenhouse gas emissions. The Minister of Water and Forests also outlined Côte d’Ivoire’s expectations of the international community in the fight against deforestation, namely: the mobilization of technical and financial resources (the needs are considerable: around 1 billion euros for the SPREF); facilitating access to innovative financing mechanisms, including carbon-related financing; helping Côte d’Ivoire to comply with the Regulations (European Union, United Kingdom) currently being adopted on imported deforestation.

Laurent Tchagba, Minister of Water and Forests, Côte d’Ivoire:

In working together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat the effects of climate change, we need to place cocoa production and forest protection within an appropriate legislative framework, and establish partnerships that capitalize on existing policies in other policy areas such as labor, agriculture and the environment.

Samuel JINAPOR, Ghana’s Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, emphasized that the value of cocoa as a product is more than just a cash crop or commercial commodity for Ghana. Turning to CFI’s progress in Ghana, he noted that the country had made progress in restoring degraded forest land and reducing deforestation by 13% by 2021. These achievements have been made possible by tree planting, landscape awareness, climate-smart agriculture, cocoa traceability and the development of a national monitoring system.

Samuel Abu Jinapor, Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Ghana:

I call on the signatories to commit to the effective implementation of the second phase of the CFI, so that farmers reap real benefits from this sector, which I describe as a "billion-dollar industry". This will motivate farmers to use sustainable farming practices. I call on the CFI signatories to address the issue of cocoa pricing. Cocoa farming can and must be practiced sustainably, and partnership will be essential to achieve this.

CFI partners also stressed the importance of cooperation between the public and private sectors for the success of the CFI, and the need for companies to address deforestation in the supply chain and update their “net zero” commitments to include deforestation-free cocoa sourcing. Rob Cameron, Vice President and Global Head of Public Affairs at Nestlé, described a three-pillar approach to achieving net zero:

  1. adopt a landscape that takes a positive approach to the forest; do not just stop deforestation, invest in reforestation;
  2. ensure the regeneration of agricultural land and
  3. ensure a sustainable transition by working with farmers.

Successive presentations by Chris Vincent, Chairman of the World Cocoa Foundation, and Janet Rogan, UK COP Ambassador for Africa, highlighted the benefits of multi-stakeholder collaboration within CFI and how the UK government was working with business to achieve CFI’s goals, training 50,000 farmers in sustainable cocoa production.

IDH CEO Daan Wensing concluded by assuring that other major cocoa-producing countries were keen to join the CFI, reinforcing the collaborative impact the CFI can have. As we enter the second phase of the initiative, industry and government signatories have demonstrated a strong commitment to achieving the CFI’s objectives and ensuring its success. CFI signatory companies are currently developing their action plans for the next phase, in line with government priorities, with greater emphasis on co-investment and collective action to conserve and restore priority landscapes.

Communication strategy
To accompany the 2022-2025 Action Plan, a communications strategy has been drawn up to cover activities in both Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire.

This strategy defines the communication objectives, target audiences, key messages, communication tools and actions to be implemented.

With this in mind, the website for CFI in Côte d’Ivoire which serves as a showcase for the initiative’s activities in the country, has been reactivated.


The Steering Committee meeting of December 01st, 2022 validated the following priorities for CFI in 2023.

  1. Selection of priority forests, parks and reserves, design and implementation of joint investment projects for their protection and restoration.
  2. Mobilizing financial resources to implement the 2022-2025 action plan.
  3. Operationalize satellite monitoring.
  4. Participation in monitoring the implementation of the unified traceability system.
  5. Communication and dissemination of CFI actions, results and achievements.