Civil Society Organisation in Ghana have over the years acquired a vast array of expertise in diverse fields including forestry and monitoring which can be tapped into by the Cocoa and Forests Initiative in its quest to address the role of cocoa cultivation in forest degradation and deforestation.
In this vein, Civil Society Organisation (CSOs) stand a good opportunity to play a catalytic role in the implementation of the Cocoa and Forests Initiative (CFI) in Ghana, especially with regards to its bid to bring about reforms in the cocoa sector, says Mrs. Doreen Yeboah, Advocacy and Networking Expert for Tropenbos Ghana and representative for Civil Society Organisations on the steering committee of the Coordinating Team for the Initiative.
She was Speaking at a high level meeting organised by the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) and the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) at Utrecht, Netherlands, on November 14 on behalf of the National Forestry Forum Ghana, of which Tropenbos Ghana is a leading member.
Mrs. Yeboah said the effective contribution CSO’s can only be possible if CSOs are given the mandate to play a bigger role in the implementation of the Cocoa and Forests Initiative in Ghana.
“We have a seat, but that's not enough. We want to have deliberations with government, private sector and farmers. Beyond this, we want to see the outcome of these deliberations incorporated into programme design and implementation. We want to be partners in practice not partners on paper”, Mrs. Yeboah reiterated.
The purpose of the meeting was to provide an opportunity for the governments of Ghana, Ivory Coast and Colombia as well as key international development partners, participating companies and leading environmental organisations to discuss progress on the Cocoa and Forests Initiative.
It follows months of multi-stakeholder work in Ghana and the Ivory Coast and at the global level to convert the ‘Joint Frameworks of Action’ into ‘National Implementation Plans’ for each country.
Tropenbos Ghana is a member of the Technical Working Groups on Protection and Inclusion of the Cocoa and Forests Initiative.