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Africa Palm Oil Initiative

The Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 Africa Palm Oil Initiative is working with stakeholders at both national and regional levels to develop acceptable principles for responsible oil palm development in Central and West Africa. The Initiative is engaging with nine palm oil producing countries: Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

The Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 (TFA 2020) is a public–private partnership that aims to reduce deforestation in supply chains linked to key global commodities (palm oil, soy, beef and pulp and paper) in order to protect the tropical forests that provide food and livelihoods for millions of people. The Africa Palm Oil Initiative (APOI) is the first signature initiative of TFA 2020.

What does the APOI do?

The APOI’s vision is a prosperous palm oil industry that brings jobs and wealth to local communities in a way that is environmentally and socially sustainable and protects the rich tropical forests of the region.

The goal of the Initiative is to develop and support the implementation of national and regional principles for responsible oil palm development that take account of the ambitious development plans of countries in Africa, while addressing environmental targets for reduced deforestation, land use and greenhouse gases, and social indicators on issues such as land tenure and the rights of indigenous peoples.

Proforest coordinates the APOI on behalf of the TFA 2020. 

What has the APOI achieved?

By mid-2016, nine countries are engaged in national and regional APOI processes:

  • Four countries (Cameroon, Gabon, Nigeria and Republic of Congo) have expressed strong interest in engaging with the APOI.
  • Five countries (Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone) are engaged as full TFA Partners and are developing national principles and action plans for responsible oil palm development.
  • At the regional level, representatives from government, private sector and civil society organisations from the nine participating countries agreed a framework for a set of high-level regional principles to guide responsible oil palm development in West and Central Africa at the 1st Regional TFA 2020 Palm Oil Initiative workshop in March 2016.

Implementation and funding partners

Implementation partners include the Governments of Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Republic of Congo and Sierra Leone; as well as the TFA 2020 Secretariat, TFA 2020 Partners, WWF DRC, WWF Cameroon, Conservation International, Solidaridad West Africa and Meridian Institute.

Proforest’s work with the TFA APOI is financially supported by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the Global Environment Facility. 


Download the latest APOI briefing note.

APOI BN5 jacket