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Towards Marrakesh: sustainable palm oil agreement between nine African countries

Nine African countries gathered in Côte d’Ivoire last week to discuss and agree a shared regional framework for promoting a sustainable oil palm sector in Africa.

The workshop brought together representatives from the public and private sectors, civil society and wider stakeholders, as part of the Tropical Forest Alliance 2020’s (TFA 2020) Africa Palm Oil Initiative.

The Africa Palm Oil Initiative Regional Workshop was organised by Proforest in collaboration with Solidaridad, The Meridian Institute and the TFA 2020 Secretariat.

The workshop was hosted by the Government of Cote d’Ivoire who sent senior representatives from the Ministries of Environment; Water and Forests; and Agriculture to open this technical session.

The principal aim of the workshop was to finalise the text of a regional declaration for a sustainable oil palm sector in Africa, as well as further dialogue around key issues and challenges and a review of lessons learned from the process.

Building on the rapid and substantial progress at national and regional levels, the regional process is now focused on preparing the Ministerial Declaration to be signed by African palm oil producing Governments in Africa during the annual UN Climate Conference (COP22) in Marrakesh, Morocco on 16th November 2016.

The TFA 2020 Africa Palm Oil Initiative aims to achieve a prosperous palm oil industry: one which provides jobs and wealth to local communities in a way that is environmentally and socially sustainable and protects the rich tropical forests of the region. This will be achieved by a combination of a major public commitment by African Governments and the delivery of national action plans in each partner country. The Initiative is funded by the UK Department for International Development.

The regional workshop brought together all the partners from Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, the Republic of Congo and Sierra Leone. These 40+ delegates were joined by other key actors in the sector including international donors, Regional Economic Communities and the Consumer Goods Forum.

The delegates worked tirelessly over two days to agree the final technical draft of the declaration that will commit the governments who ratify it in Marrakesh to delivering sustainability within their respective oil palm sectors. The country delegates will now carry the final technical text to their respective ministers to sign. 

Published 10.10.2016

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Read more about the TFA 2020 Africa Palm Oil Initiative.

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