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Driving forward deforestation-free palm oil production in Africa

10 countries will meet in Gabon this week to plan for the next phase of the Africa Palm Oil Initiative, coordinated by Proforest.

Deforestation-free palm oil production in Africa moves a step closer this week, when 10 countries meet in Gabon to plan for the next phase of the Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 (TFA 2020) Africa Palm Oil Initiative (APOI).

Organized by Proforest on behalf of the TFA 2020 and in collaboration with the Government of Gabon and WWF-Gabon, the meeting will take place on 12-13 October 2017 in Libreville, Gabon. The third regional meeting of the APOI comes a year after the historic signing of the Marrakesh Declaration, at COP 22, when seven African governments committed to developing a sustainable palm oil sector.

Implementing the Marrakesh Declaration will be a primary focus of the meeting, with delegates from government, civil society and the private sector sharing their experiences of the issues, challenges and opportunities surrounding responsible palm oil in Africa.

The multistakeholder meeting will also give an opportunity for the community to explore the potential of reducing deforestation through joint actions across cocoa and palm oil supply chains, via the introduction of the Cocoa and Forests Initiative.

10 countries are currently engaged with the APOI: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, the Republic of Congo and Sierra Leone. As signatories to the 2015 Paris Agreement, these countries have already committed to ambitious pledges to protect their national forests and fight climate change.

Each APOI country team includes stakeholders from government, civil society and the private sector, working towards a common goal of reducing deforestation from commodity supply chains. National principles and action plans are collectively agreed and implemented by the country teams, making the APOI a genuinely collaborative and inclusive process.

Seven countries have developed national principles for the responsible production of palm oil for their countries: Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Gabon, Liberia, the Republic of Congo and Sierra Leone. Whilst Ghana, Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire have started to finalise their national action plans to implement these principles on the ground.

Published 05.10.2017

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