11. General Meeting: Approaches to deforestation and climate change in the cocoa sector

On 02 and 03 May GISCO welcomed more than 80 members and guests to their 11th general meeting in Bonn.

This year's theme of the evening event and general meeting was "Approaches to deforestation and climate change in the cocoa sector". Inspired by the presentations of experts from Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, UK, USA and Colombia, our members discussed the issues of deforestation and climate change in the cocoa sector in several working groups.

 At the general meeting, GISCO announced the publication of our members’ #roadmaps! Prior to the General Meeting, the members of the GISCO published their individual commitments, so-called roadmaps, on two of our main topics: traceability and certification. You can find them here. This way, our members make transparent how they contribute to GISCO’s goals. Further roadmaps on deforestation, child labour and living income will follow.

The EU regulation on deforestation-free products, which is to be adopted shortly, was an important focus of the event. A joint presentation by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and the Federal Ministry for Development and Economic Cooperation addressed the concrete requirements for GISCO members. To support members in implementing the new EU regulation on deforestation-free products, Neil Judd, Proforest, presented operational guidelines. Florent Dji from South Pole pointed out the potential of payment for ecosystem services to contribute to a better income for cocoa farmers.

Caroline Winchester from the World Resources Institute presented measures and impacts to protect our natural resources in times of climate change. Her presentation was complemented with local perspectives from Obed Owusu-Addai, Ghana Civil Society Organization, who stressed that poverty among cocoa producers is the root cause of deforestation and that this problem is still not sufficiently addressed.

In our short inputs and working groups, Ryan McNeill, Nestle, and Gerome Tokpa, Earthworm, discussed the impacts of landscape approaches to deforestation and climate change and outlined the role companies can play. Finally, Wendy Arenas, Alisos, and Vincent Awotwe-Pratt, Cocoa and Forest Initiative, spoke on agroforestry systems for ecosystem restoration and shared regional perspectives from Colombia and Ghana

We would especially like to thank our host, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture in Bonn, our guest speakers for their valuable contributions and all participants for the successful event and the fruitful discussio

  • You can access our members’ roadmaps here.