Ghana is stepping up its commitment to help end deforestation due to cocoa farming, by partnering with Ecometrica, the downstream space and sustainability company
Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, chief executive of FCG, stated that the accurate and timely information, accessible to all stakeholders, is critical to the future success of the CFI, sustainable forest management and reliable information for international forest monitoring obligations in Ghana.
“The Ecometrica Platform will provide access to essential mapping and monitoring information to cocoa industry, stakeholders and national institutions involved in the CFI, to ensure compliance with legal and voluntary commitments.”
As the leader of the UK Space Agency’s Forests 2020 Project, Ecometrica has been supporting the FCG improve its monitoring and mapping to determine the effects of cocoa farming on forests for several years. This new agreement ensures that the collaboration will continue beyond the life of the project funding.
Ecometrica’s executive chairman Dr Richard Tipper explained, “This will also create a long-term revenue stream for the Commission, as we will also distribute the maps that have been created by the Commission. This will help make its commitment to high-quality mapping and monitoring of cocoa farms and forests self-sustaining.”
The agreement sees the Forestry Commission of Ghana (FCG) adopt the Ecometrica mapping platform in its production and delivery of high-quality maps and forest monitoring information, which are at the heart of the Cocoa & Forests Initiative Frameworks for Action (CFI), agreed by Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire at the COP23 UN Climate Change Conference.
“This agreement ensures the tools and methods developed through Forests 2020 will be widely adopted and become the national standard in Ghana,” Sarah Middlemiss, space programme manager at Ecometrica said.
Cocoa buyers need to be able to accurately assess the impact of their efforts to combat deforestation in their supply chains, and this agreement will provide commercial access to accurate and regularly updated maps.
Because cocoa is a shade-loving crop and can grow under the forest canopy, other available methods to map the spread of cocoa farming had proven ineffective. The work carried out by Ecometrica and its partners in Ghana, through the Forests 2020 project, ensured that accurate maps were developed, showing the true impact of the cocoa supply chain. These will now be updated on a regular basis to reflect efforts to tackle deforestation.