Monitoring the Cocoa and Forest Initiative Commitments Through Participatory Approach Project (MoCCPA)

Monitoring The Cocoa And Forest Initiative Commitments Through Participatory Approach Project (MoCCPA)

On the 21st of February 2019, EcoCare Ghana launched its Monitoring of the Cocoa and forest initiative Commitments through Participatory Approaches (MoCCPA) project at Erata Hotel in Accra.

The cocoa and forest initiative came about when governments of Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire together with over twenty-seven (27) cocoa and chocolate companies committed to work together to end deforestation and promote forest protection and restoration in the cocoa supply chain. To achieve this hefty ambition, the Cocoa and Forest Initiative (CFI) was initiated under the patronage of HRH the Prince of Whales in 2017. The CFI process has become the main medium through which private-sector and government are collaborating to achieve the commitments in the Joint Framework of Action, and is facilitated by Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) and World Cocoa Foundation (WCF).

 This project is therefore aimed at supporting the CFI process in Ghana through two (2) main approaches – 1) Mobilizing civil society and farming communities to actively participate in CFI implementation at national and landscape level; and 2) Working with other partners to monitor implementation of CFI commitments both at national and landscape level.

The inception meeting was utilizeed to: i) introduce the MoCCPA project to all stakeholders ; ii) to sort their input to fine tune proposed activities; iii) to indicate readiness for collaboration with interested CSOs; and iv) to open doors for similar projects to align with EcoCare towards a successful implementation of this project in the interim and ultimately the CFI.

The meeting, which was facilitated by Mrs. Patience Olesu- Adjei, was attended by diverse stakeholders cutting across different parts of the cocoa and forest sector; government, civil society groups, international and local NGO’s, community based organizations (CBO), Farmer based organizations(FBO) and media just to mention a few.

After the opening formalities, Lawyer clement Akapame was invited to give the welcome address in lieu of the board chairman of EcoCare Ghana who couldn’t be present at the meeting. He welcome the participants and encouraged them to be part of the CFI and MoCCPA project because of its benefits for cocoa, forest, farmers and the country as a whole.

Messages from international and local partners for EcoCare Ghana were next on the agenda.

 Mr. Sanda from Sustainable trade initiative/world cocoa foundation (IDH/WCF) gave a brief history about CFI, the commitments made by the chocolate and cocoa companies and how CFI will contribute to the drive to end deforestation and promote forest protection and restoration in the cocoa supply chain.  Mr sanda continued by congratulating EcoCare Ghana for taking up this project and challenged other civil society groups to emulate from EcoCare and also join in the CFI implementation process.

Next was Rain Forest Alliance (RA) which is the core funders for the MoCCPA project. The speech for RA was delivered by Mr. Christian Mensah. In his speech, he talked about how the objectives of EcoCare Ghana are aligned with the Sector Partner program (SP). He also spoke about the CFI and MoCCPA project and how it was relevant in helping to eradicate deforestation and promote forest protection and how private sector and government can collaborate in the restoration of forests in the cocoa supply chain. He further encouraged civil society organizations and Non-governmental organizations to come on board and join in the CFI implementation in Ghana. 

The last person to speak for the partners was Mrs. Doreen Asumang Yeboah from Tropenbos Ghana.  Mrs Asumang  shared Tropenbos experience in working on projects with EcoCare Ghana. She went on to talk about the importance of the CFI and MoCCPA project and its benefits to farmers and to the nation.

Presentation of MoCCPA project by Mr. Obed Addai (Managing Campaingner for EcoCare and Team leader for the MoCCPA Project)

To begin his presentation, Mr. Addai gave the meaning of MoCCPA to be Monitoring CFI Commitments Through Participatory Approaches. He extended EcoCare’s gratitude to RA/UTZ for funding this projects and to the Participants for honoring the invitation and also for the fact that they are going to make inputs into the project implementation process.

Mr Addai gave a brief background to the project and said the CFI is an initiative of 2 countries (Ghana and Cote d’ivoire) and 12 companies in 2017 and believed the number of companies that have currently signed the CFI is about 30. He said the main aim is to end cocoa related deforestation. He stressed that the CFI is a Ghana policy process (not a private sector thing) and hence EcoCare Ghana seeks to support the process through building capacity of civil society to participate in the process and undertake independent monitoring using its MoCCPA project. According to him, EcoCare Ghana will be working in partnership with other organizations to support civil society at both the local and National levels to participate in the process.

Secondly, he spoke about EcoCare’s theory of change which identified Stakeholders not actively participating in CFI implementation activities at national and landscape level and CFI commitments not being monitored by stakeholders at national and landscape levels as problems that MoCCPA seeks to solve. He also indicated the interventions and the expected outcomes and outputs. He said the project intends to use local dwellers, indigenous Knowledge, civil society mobilization and Technology to achieve the expected outcomes which are; Ghanaian actors are mobilized to effectively participate in CFI processes and Ghanaian actors are monitoring CFI to ensure commitments are kept.

Furthermore, Mr. Addai said that the project will be supporting community members to interface with the implementation process and will collaborate with stakeholders like WCF, FC and other stakeholders to develop materials for the training of community members. He further added that hand held monitoring devices will be provided to farmers who will be supporting with data collection around CFI implementation.

Mr. Owusu Addai gave the closing remarks saying, he was excited about the turn up for the meeting, encouraged CSO’s and other NGO’S to join in the CFI implementation using the success of the FLEGT VPA as an example of what can be achieved if they all work hand in hand to solve a common problem.

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