This exploratory study identifies the actual problems in the cocoa sector in Ghana; causes of deforestation and extreme poverty in the sector. It goes on to propose necessary changes in the sector to resolve the drivers of deforestation. It presents an analysis of the recent developments in the cocoa sector in Ghana, namely: The Cocoa and Forest Initiative, Cocoa Action and the Ghana Cocoa Forest REDD+ Programme, with the aim of providing understanding to the complementarity and gaps between the initiatives, identification of the actors involved and their relationships.
This short-term exploratory study was done mainly through extensive review of literature, including both grey and web-based information. It was coupled with key informant interviews and focus group discussions.
The EU-Ghana FLEGT-VPA is also assessed to identify the potential building blocks that could reinforce the CFI process, including: the elements of the VPA that would be of value to the existing initiatives in the cocoa sector; and what the CFI and other initiatives in the cocoa sector could learn from the FLEGT-VPA. Also discussed is the necessary modifications to adapt the building blocks for the cocoa sector. A quick comparison of existing cocoa standards (e.g. UTZ/RA, ISO) and legal requirements for forests and agriculture is made to identify overlaps and gaps between legality and sustainability in cocoa.
The study has highlighted relevant lessons to be learned from the FLEGT-VPA process that could strengthen the existing cocoa initiatives and preservation of forest landscapes. These lessons relate to having clarity in the legislative and policy environment and using deliberative multi-stakeholder processes to address the governance issues in the cocoa sector. The potential political and reform dimensions in the cocoa-sector initiatives as well as the present multi-stakeholder nature of the CFI are all discussed.