Deforestation and Natural Resources Policy Must Work- Ecocare Urge NGOs & FBOs

Project Team Leader for EcoCare Ghana, Mr. Obed Owusu-Addai has advocated increased investment in Ghana’s Forest and Natural Resources as is constrained by weak value chain linkages due to uncoordinated policies.

He is worried the weak value chain linkages will not help ensure that forest and natural resource policies respect rights of local communities, promote development and safeguards the resources for posterity.

Mr. Obed Owusu was speaking at the launch of their “Monitoring CFI Commitments through Participatory Approaches” (MoCCPA) project here in Accra. The MoCCPA project is being supported by Rainforest Alliance/UTZ through their Sector Partnership (SP) Programme. According to him, their mission is to ensure that forest and natural resource policies respect the rights of local communities, promote development and safeguards the resources for posterity.
“We work to transform decision-making processes of forest and natural resources so that resource owners obtain fairer benefit from their inheritance. EcoCare Ghana aims to create space through constructive citizen mobilization for the participation of local communities and other stakeholders in decision-making processes on natural resources and environment” he indicated.

Mr. Obed Owusu revealed that Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire together with about 31 cocoa and chocolate companies have committed to ending deforestation in the cocoa supply chain.

On his part Sander Muilerman who is the West Africa Manager for Cocoa & Forest Initiative also whispered that the World Cocoa Foundation and their members have joined together with the governments of Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Colombia to commit to no further conversion of any forest land for cocoa production, to end deforestation and restore forest areas, and to eliminate illegal cocoa production in national parks.

“Currently 31 companies have signed the F4A namely: Arysta Callivoire, Barry Callebaut, Blommer Chocolate Company, Cargill Cocoa and Chocolate, Cémoi, Chocolats Halba, Cocoanect, Cococo Chocolatiers, ECOM Group, Fazer, Ferrero, General Mills Inc., Godiva Chocolatier, Inc., Guittard Chocolate Company, The Hershey Corporation, Indcresa, Lindt & Sprüngli Group, Marks & Spencer Food, Mars Wrigley Confectionery, Meiji Co., Ltd., Mondelez Europe, Nestlé, Olam Cocoa, Sainsbury’s, SIAT, Toms Group, Touton, Tree Global, Unilever, Valrhona, J.H.Whittaker & Sons Ltd he said.

Also present at the launch were representatives from the Ghana Forestry Commission, UTZ/RA, GARDJA, WCO, TROPENBOS, SEND-Ghana, and Cocoa Abrabopa.

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