Over 40 people from public and private sector as well as civil society groups from nine African countries have finalised a shared regional accord geared towards responsible palm oil production in the region.
The accord is to be signed by the ministers of state from the nine countries at the annual UN Climate Conference (COP22) in Marrakesh, Morocco in November 2016.
The countries are Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, DR Congo, Republic of Congo and Sierra Leone.
The accord was finalised at a the 2nd Tropical Forest Alliance (TFA) 2020 Regional workshop held at the Ivorian capital of Abidjan between October 6 and 7, 2016.
It was organised by Proforest on behalf of TFA 2020 and in collaboration with the Government of Cote d’Ivoire, Solidaridad and REDD+.
The two-day workshop, which formed part of the Tropical Forest Alliance’s 2020 (TFA 2020) Africa Palm Oil Initiative, was also used to review lessons learned from the process leading to the finalisation of the accord.
The TFA 2020 Africa Palm Oil Initiative aims to achieve a prosperous palm oil industry to provide jobs and wealth to local communities in a way that is environmentally and socially sustainable and protects the rich tropical forests of the region.
It is to be achieved through developing and implementing a set of regional principles for responsible oil palm development that balance rural development and domestic economic growth. It is also protect forests on a large scale.
It is expected the outcomes will protect critical natural resources, deliver economic and social benefits for smallholder farmers and local communities, and recognise and respect community and the indigenous people’s rights.
Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Liberia have already developed national principles for the responsible production of palm oil for their countries and are finalising roadmaps to implement these principles on the ground.