15th June, Douala:
Various stakeholders from across different agriculture and forest commodity sub-sectors convened to kick-start the in-country discussions on building synergy towards strengthening sustainable production and to address several issues related to deforestation, at the Hotel Vallee Prince De Prince in Doula today.
The meeting which was organised by the Tropical Forest Alliance (TFA), a global multi-stakeholder platform focused on reducing commodity driven deforestation, in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment, Nature Protection and Sustainable Development (MINEPDED), and its partners IDH-The Sustainable Trade Initiative, Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) and Proforest. The meeting which brought together stakeholders from across commodities like Cocoa, Oil Palm, Rubber, Banana and timber sectors was chaired by Professor Bring Christopher, the National Coordinator for REDD+, who represented the Ministry of Environment, Nature Protection and Sustainable Development.
The dialogue aims to convene stakeholders within relevant agriculture and forestry sectors in Cameroon to align on the vision of creating synergies in commitments and action plans, mobilize resources, and facilitate implementation of innovative programs that aim to protect and restore Cameroonian natural forests within a common platform, in alignment with national strategies, such as the NDC, National Adaptation and Mitigation plans, National Development Strategy 2030 etc.
During this workshop, participants discussed the challenges of the different commodity subsectors and how building synergies in efforts could be advantageous in enhancing sustainability in their respective commodity value chains. They also defined common objectives for collaboration and the next steps for a multi-commodity Dialogue.
Cameroon which has the 3rd largest forest range in the Congo Basin forest block, after the Democratic Republic of Congo and Gabon. As the country is grappling with the adverse effects of climate change putting significant stress on its forests, agriculture, among other sectors has been identified as a key driver of deforestation. Coupled with the fact that agriculture and forest produce of the country is of key demand in the international and national markets, underlines the urgency of working towards sustainable methods of agriculture in the country.
Faced with these challenges, the government, at the international level has committed to global climate initiatives such as the United Nationals Framework Convention for Climate Change Paris Agreements amongst others.
At national level the government of Cameroon is promoting sustainable commodity initiatives such as:
- The Tropical Forest Alliance led-Africa Palm Oil Initiative (TFA-APOI) in Cameroon has a goal of reducing tropical deforestation and a vision of a prosperous palm oil industry which brings jobs and wealth to local communities in a way that is environmentally and socially sustainable and protects the tropical forests in Africa
- The ‘Roadmap to Deforestation-Free Cocoa’ process which public- private-civil society partnership, aims at strengthening sustainability within the cocoa sector. This initiative by MINADER in collaboration with MINCOMMERCE, MINEPDED and MINFOF with the facilitation of IDH. The Roadmap to Deforestation-Free Cocoa - Joint Framework for Action which was signed in January 13, 2021 builds on 3 pillars, namely:
- Forest protection and restoration
- Sustainable cocoa production and marketing; and
- Community engagement and social inclusion.
- In addition to the above 2 initiatives, Halcyon Agri leads a multi-stakeholder sustainability initiative in the rubber sector through its Sustainable Natural Rubber Supply Chain Policy (SNRSCP), being informed by a Cameroon Sustainability Council (CSC).
- Lastly the Cameroon-EU Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) as part of the European Union’s Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) process contributes in strengthening governance of the timber sector in Cameroon.
Hence, building synergies across commodities aims to provide potential opportunity of achieving significant impact on reducing climate change effect and promoting sustainable production in Agriculture and forest commodity sub-sectors.
For more details contact: Sabali Meschi, Tropical Forest Alliance, Sabali.Mesci@weforum.org