Nestlé collaborated with the Ministry of Water and Forests of Côte d’Ivoire to protect and restore the Cavally forest reserve and enhance local communities’ resilience.
Cavally Forest is the last standing classified forest in Côte d’Ivoire and makes up part of the largest remaining forest block in West Africa.
Nestlé will make a CHF 2.5 million (US $2.68 million) investment and finance efforts to end deforestation in the forest reserve and restore the degraded forest.
The project will also support transition pathways for farmers currently producing in the reserve and promote regenerative agriculture for areas around the reserve.
The Cavally forest reserve is one of 234 classified forests in Côte d’Ivoire, a biodiversity hotspot under threat due to deforestation.
Côte d’Ivoire has lost much of its forest cover over the past 60 years. From 1960 to 2015, the area of its forests decreased from 16 million to 3.5 million hectares. This loss of forest was caused by smallholder agriculture.
Halting deforestation linked to cocoa is part of our ambition to transform our agricultural supply chain, making it more environmentally friendly and resilient. This is part of our accelerated action to tackle climate change, and it will contribute to achieving our zero net emissions commitment by 2050.Magdi Batato, Executive Vice President, Head of Operations, Nestlé
The Côte d’Ivoire government lately adopted a national policy for the preservation, rehabilitation, and extension of forests.
According to Alain Richard Donwahi, Ivorian Minister for Water and Forests said that this collaboration would strengthen the commitment to fight against deforestation caused in part by cocoa cultivation in Côte d’Ivoire and to improve the resilience of communities and cocoa producers. He wishes for successful implementation and believing it becomes a replicable model to scale-up to other forests.
The Côte d’Ivoire’s Forest Agency (SODEFOR) and Earthworm Foundation will be responsible for the implementation, working with other stakeholders, including the cocoa communities. The objective is to ensure future farmers and communities cultivate cocoa and other crops outside Cavally forest areas.
The project is connected with Nestlé’s participation in the Cocoa & Forest Initiative (CFI) and its action plan to stopping deforestation in its cocoa supply chain and preserving and restoring existing forests.