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Nine African countries to agree a Regional Accord for sustainable palm oil

Nine African countries will gather in Côte d’Ivoire next week to discuss and agree a shared regional framework for the responsible production of palm oil in the region. The workshop will bring together representatives from the public and private sector, civil society and local groups as part of the Tropical Forest Alliance 2020’s (TFA 2020) Africa Palm Oil Initiative.

The Africa Palm Oil Initiative Regional Workshop is being organized by Proforest on behalf of TFA 2020 and in collaboration with the Government of Cote d’Ivoire, Solidaridad and REDD+. It will take place 6-7 October 2016 in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.

The principal aim of the workshop is to finalize the text of the Regional Accord, as well as further dialogue around key issues 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 Regional Accord to be signed by Ministers from the nine countries during the annual UN Climate Conference (COP22) in Marrakesh, Morocco in 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 is expected 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 and at the same time protects forests on a large scale.

The outcomes can be transforming: protecting critical natural resources (e.g. intact primary forest landscapes, peatland, riparian areas and biodiversity corridors), delivering economic and social benefits for smallholder farmers and local communities, and recognizing and respecting community and the indigenous people’s rights.

The regional workshop will bring together partner countries who are at different stages of the process from Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Congo and Sierra Leone.

Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Liberia have already developed national principles for the responsible production of palm oil for their countries and Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Liberia are finalising action plans (roadmaps) to implement these principles on the ground.

Published 30.09.2016

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