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Towards a roadmap for sustainable palm oil in Africa

Nine African countries are gathering in Ghana this 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 the TFA 2020 and in collaboration with the Government of Ghana, through the Ministry of Food and Agriculture. It will take place on 2-3 March 2016 at Alisa Hotel in Accra, Ghana.

The working session aims to develop a process for the regional initiative leading towards signing a regional accord on responsible palm oil production at ministerial level later in 2016. Participants will also have the opportunity to attend a field visit to Benso Oil Palm Plantation, Adum Banso Estate, Takoradi, Ghana on 4 March 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 protect 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 a set of countries at different stages of engaging with the Initiative from Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, Ghana, Liberia, and Nigeria with those who are interested in joining the Initiative in the future, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Congo and Sierra Leone.

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

Published 01.03.2016

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