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Ghana - 09 September, 2022
The Ghana Civil Society-Cocoa Platform (GCCP) met to review the European Union’s (EU) drafted legislation on certain commodities and products associated with deforestation and forest degradation. The review was to ensure that smallholder cocoa farmers in the country are not affected by the EU legislation. Deforestation and forest degradation are occurring at an alarming rate, worsening climate change and the loss of biodiversity.
The expansion of agricultural land to produce commodities such as cocoa is considered one of the main drivers of climate change and biodiversity loss in Ghana. This has compelled the EU to draft legislation to blacklist those commodities and products associated with deforestation and forest degradation on the Union’s market. At the meeting, Project Manager of Tropenbos Ghana, Kwame Appiah Owusu disclosed that if nothing is done about the legislation in terms of definition, the poor cocoa farmer will be at the losing end. He disclosed that the country has taken some steps to meet some of the criteria in the drafted EU legislation. Mr. Owusu mentioned that COCOBOD has rolled out a cocoa management system which takes reference data of farmers to ensure that their farms are not located in forest reserves.
Mr. Owusu challenged COCOBOD to employ additional steps to trace and work with farmers whose farms are located in forest reserves. He pointed out that if we continue to destroy or degrade our forests, it will affect cocoa production. The Project Manager of Tropenbos Ghana noted that cocoa production is very key to Ghana’s economy and as such, stakeholders must adopt best practices to ensure the export of only sustainably produced beans.