Subject: BACP Newsletter October 2013 - Transforming the Cocoa Sector

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BACP News - October 2013
Transforming the Cocoa Sector

Cocoa presents a unique and important opportunity to radically transform commodity agriculture from a mosaic model with two land use types - productive areas with high yields and “wild” areas with no production and high biodiversity - to a mixed model, where farms are both highly productive and supportive of healthy native biodiversity. In fact, with cocoa production, multiple studies have shown that higher on-farm biodiversity is directly correlated with increased yields per area.

With well over 60% concentrated in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire, global cocoa production falls squarely into the lowland Guinean forest area, a critically fragmented hotspot of biodiversity which includes endemic bird species, amphibians, and more than ¼ of Africa’s mammals. Indonesia, as the third largest cocoa producing country, also contains areas where cocoa production systems are adjacent to protected areas with high biodiversity, including a site that is home to the last remaining population of an endemic bird species.

BACP aims to transform the market for cocoa in order to ensure that these biodiversity hotspots are preserved. Since the inception of the program, the amount of certified cocoa traded globally has increased over four-fold, from 103,696 in 2009 to 462,400 tons of certified cocoa in 2011. According to a report by KPMG, global demand for cocoa is again on the rise after a brief slowdown in 2008-09, and the certified market is rising faster than global production. The challenge is to improve management practices of the smallholder farmers who dominate production quickly enough to meet that demand. BACP grantees working on just these types of projects, therefore, are well placed to be influential in further transforming the cocoa market.

BACP cocoa grantees are developing and implementing tools, trainings, methodologies, and standards that reflect this paradigm shift. Grantees are contributing to strengthened biodiversity criteria within cocoa certification standards, are improving smallholder access to biodiversity monitoring tools and biodiversity-friendly management practices, and are using multi-stakeholder processes to developing mapping tools that will enable improved biodiversity and production outcomes from cocoa development. BACP grantees work is transforming the cocoa supply chain by addressing 5 key issues that often challenge cocoa producers and traders as they attempt to shift to more responsible and biodiversity-friendly practices:

1. Working with smallholders;
2. Training and capacity-building;
3. Land planning;
4. Managing HCVs; and
5. Impact assessment.
Cocoa Video
Click to watch

Vincent Awotwe-Pratt of BACP grantee Conservation Alliance Ghana describes their project.
Click to watch

George Saforo of GeoTraceability, Ltd. describes the necessity, challenges and opportunities for biodiversity and shade cover monitoring and evaluation in the smallholder cocoa context.
Did You Know?
You can now browse BACP projects by location, thanks to a new custom Google map. View and use the map on the grant projects page of the BACP website.
New Tools, Reports and Success Stories are now available on the BACP website. Click the links below to find them, or browse by visiting the grant projects page at

Conservation Alliance Ghana's Community-based Monitoring Protocol


The World Cocoa Foundation partnership meeting took place October 15th and 16th at Hotel El Embajador in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Leading cocoa producers, purchasers, and civil society organizations, including BACP grantees Armajaro, Ltd. and Rainforest Alliance, were in attendance.
The first Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) will take place this year at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change 19th Conference of Parties, in Warsaw, Poland. The GLF represents a merger of Forests Day and Agriculture and Rural Development Day. The merger makes perfect sense in the context of biodiversity-friendly cocoa agroforestry systems, which clearly straddle the forestry and agriculture sectors.
The 11th annual meeting of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil takes place November 11-14 in Medan, Indonesia. This year's roundtable will focus on how member companies can understand, apply and embrace the new RSPO Principles and Criteria. BACP grantees will be in attendance, and the program is hosting a booth at the exposition that will highlight many of the tools and projects produced by BACP palm oil grantees. Come by and see us!
A host of new tools and useful documents, including training manuals for better management practices for smallholders and rapid field assessments of biodiversity, monitoring protocols and HCV standards, plus dozens more, are all available on the BACP website at
The current phase of BACP closes at the end of 2013! Thanks to all the grantees for their hard work and dedication, and to all the supporting organizations and co-financers, for making BACP possible. A program summary will be shared with the group to synthesize the program's major accomplishments.
Working with Smallholders

BACP grantee Fairtrade Australia and New Zealand (Fairtrade ANZ) is helping farmers in Papua New Guinea to access the Fairtrade system, through education and training on standards which include requirements on preserving biodiversity and promoting environmentally sustainable production techniques. Fairtrade ANZ has developed a package of interactive training tools in order to so, and having these materials will allow the organization to address a wider range of stakeholders with different capacities and needs.

In late June, Fairtrade ANZ, in partnership with The Nature Conservancy, conducted the first two workshops of its Sustainability and Biodiversity Training Program for over 100 members of Fairtrade certified producer groups. As a result of the trainings, these groups are committed to incorporate conservation components into their business and operational plans. Follow-up sessions include tailored training for environmental officers and specific advice on land use planning. By facilitating linkages between certified cocoa producer groups in PNG and buyers in New Zealand, Australia, and internationally, Fairtrade ANZ will increase demand for biodiversity-friendly cocoa.

Conservation Alliance Ghana smallholder training session. Photo by Lee Gross, EcoAgriculture Partners
BACP grantee Rainforest Alliance has partnered with the Indonesian Coffee and Cocoa Research Institute (ICCRI), and Hasanuddin University to implement the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN) Standard across 750 cocoa farms in South Sulawesi, Indonesia as a tool for protecting biodiversity while ensuring sustainable economic development for farming communities in Indonesia. Specifically, environmental safeguards such as the maintenance of forest canopy cover in existing habitat, the protection and effective management of forest fragments, the protection of wildlife and the restoration of degraded and fallow areas will be adopted as conservation tools to benefit globally threatened and locally relevant species, as well as ecosystem services that have long-term production, social, cultural and economic value.

To date more than 400 farmers from 29 farmer groups have been the beneficiaries of the Rainforest Alliance program. A socialization program was established to introduce these farmer groups to the SAN standards and go through an interactive mapping exercise, which is then digitized to create maps for group leaders. Rainforest Alliance then held a community-based mapping and species assessment methods and tools training that taught technicians and community leaders the skills needed to conduct monitoring and evaluation of local efforts to implement the SAN Standard.
Training and Capacity-Building

Armajaro, Ltd. has developed, together with Bioversity International and GeoTraceability, Ltd., a rapid biodiversity assessment (RBA) methodology and training protocol. They recruited 48 biodiversity field surveyors who have now conducted RBAs on over 10,000 cocoa farms across Ghana. By hiring and training local people in biodiversity assessment and conducting RBAs on so many small farms, Armajaro started a critical conversation with smallholder farmers about the importance of biodiversity conservation and monitoring within cocoa landscapes. Information collected by the assessment is being used to tailor smallholder biodiversity and sustainability initiatives to target farmer needs for improved impact. Linking and processing information at a large scale about farm production, size and characteristics, farming practices and farmers’ socio-economic profiles offers a potential breakthrough for supporting smallholder cocoa farmers.

The specialized training and additional responsibility that Armajaro’s field surveyors have received has empowered them to take responsibility for obtaining accurate information in the field, and provided valuable knowledge on characteristics and uses of particular species which will be passed through training to the cocoa farming communities. Building capacity and knowledge amongst Armajaro field staff not only empowered and energized individuals but will also ensure that awareness of the benefits of biodiversity will become part of their daily dialogue in interactions with cocoa farmers. A report prepared by Armajaro detailing their community-based mapping and species assessment training program is available here. You can find the tools and training materials used at the training here.

Conservation Alliance Ghana has developed a “training-the-trainers” manual that documents best practices for farmer training from a variety of sources. The manual covers a broad area of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), Integrated Pest Management (IPM), Shade Management, Biodiversity Conservation, Human Wildlife Conflict (HWC), Certification and Cocoa as a Business. The manual is now available publicly, and provides a very solid basis from which to develop a cocoa sector smallholder sustainability training program. CA-Ghana is now working to implement a variety of these training protocols in the landscape surrounding the Bia Conservation Area of southwestern Ghana, and building capacity for a community-based monitoring protocol to track the effectiveness of the programs.

Land Planning

Conservation Alliance Ghana is also working with local cocoa traders and producers, regional government, and the government of Ghana to mainstream biodiversity conservation into the cocoa production landscape surrounding the Bia Conservation Area in southwest Ghana. CA-Ghana is working at all three levels to stop cocoa expansion into valuable primary rainforest in the region, through land planning and management initiatives that encourage the rehabilitation of older extant cocoa farms, by developing certification models that reward biodiversity stewardship, and by training farmers at the local level in land management practices that reconnect forest fragments, improve forest health, and simultaneously increase on-farm yields. By increasing on-farm yields in Ghana, where many cocoa plantations are more than 20 years old, making them susceptible to pests and diseases, CA-Ghana is confident that they can limit cocoa expansion into the highly valuable forest areas of the Bia landscape.

Meanwhile, Rainforest Alliance is developing guidelines for degraded landscape management in a protected area designated for rehabilitation due to severe degradation. The guidelines are strongly grounded in the context of the Bantaeng forest in Indonesia, clearly specifying local issues, to make it easier for the guidelines to be replicated, amended and used as appropriate by others outside the project area.
Managing High Conservation Values

World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) is developing a global platform for measuring cocoa sustainability and mapping areas of high conservation value. Under the BACP grant, the indicators are being refined to develop a full set of agreed upon biodiversity indicators with associated data collection methodologies. WCF and CocoaMAP members are engaged in a collaborative process for the development of a set of recommended indicators, definitions and measurement methods and a roadmap for their application within CocoaMAP.

The biodiversity indicators were developed in a three-step process that included a literature review, a participatory drafting phase, and cross-sector workshops and presentations to collect input from biodiversity experts and a broad range of cocoa sector stakeholders. In March 2013, four inter-related biodiversity indicators were recommended as a result of a two-day consultative workshop in Accra. Over the two days, participants engaged in a review of the main biodiversity concepts and findings with respect to cocoa, as well as sustainability monitoring and evaluation efforts by various other parties. They then worked together to apply the information to CocoaMAP and draft, analyze, and shortlist initial biodiversity indicators.

At the WCF June 2013 Partnership Meeting, the resulting CocoaMAP biodiversity indicators were presented and discussed by a panel of biodiversity and M&E professionals. The panel explored the potential that cocoa farms have to act as hosts for biodiversity, and highlighted the critical importance of robust data in determining the appropriate strategies for harnessing this potential. The discussion gave further momentum to the indicator refinement process, and helped to funnel members’ diverse agendas towards the overarching goal of ensuring long-term biodiversity and sustainability in cocoa growing communities.

The indicators have since been reviewed and discussed by a sub-group of WCF industry member companies, and reviewed by origin country national research institutes and cocoa marketing boards. WCF is incorporating this feedback to develop tools so that CocoaMAP reports consistent and reliable data using a methodology that can be incorporated into ongoing data collection efforts within the sector.
Impact Assessment

Armajaro’s Traceability and Mapping System (TMS) has mapped more than 10,000 smallholder cocoa farms in Ghana and collected a large quantity of socio-economic data on farmers, data on their agricultural and conservation practices, and data on cocoa yields. This data is being processed and analyzed through a geographic information system. It is expected that accurate and regular data from a significant sample of farmers about production, coupled with data on farm practices will, for the first time in Ghana, give a clear indication of: a) unit area production; b) the actual level of farm inputs; c) the level of biodiversity on farms; and d) the impact of socio-economic and environmental sustainability interventions on the above indicators. This information will also allow for the comparison of actual farmer practices to the farm practices required under eco-certifications like Rainforest Alliance Certified.

Similarly, but half a world away, Rainforest Alliance is building much needed capacity to map and quantify the biodiversity values in and around the Bantaeng cocoa farmlands of Indonesia. Methods and tools for regularly assessing biodiversity will be embedded into ongoing farm enterprise planning processes and SAN training activities that involve routine interactions between farmers, community leaders and project field agents and technicians. This systematic, community driven approach to quantifying natural resources that border on production systems will not only enable quantitative demonstration of biodiversity conservation outcomes achieved, but will go a long way to instilling within farmers a greater knowledge of, and sense of stewardship for, biodiversity, including how it is valued, managed and utilized in and around the production systems.
Pictured: Lee Gross, Eric Bissila Buedi, Mark Reeves, Vincent Awotwe-Pratt, Claire Zuazo.
Monitoring and Evaluation - Field Visit to West Africa

In July, members of the BACP program team from EcoAgriculture Partners, Chemonics International and the International Finance Corporation traveled to Ghana to visit with cocoa grantees for purposes of verifying and documenting project impacts and promoting cross-program learning. With Conservation Alliance staff, the team participated in farmer trainings and conducted biodiversity farm transects in the Bia Conservation region of western Ghana, and similarly, with Armajaro/Geotraceability in the central region of Ghana. The visit presented the opportunity for cross-comparison of biodiversity assessment and training methodologies to be captured and disseminated in the final program report and a chance to support grantees in project modifications to scale-up interventions. The program team is grateful to the grantees for their hospitality and inspirational work to create positive change in the cocoa sector.

The Biodiversity and Agricultural Commodities Program (BACP) seeks to reduce the threats posed by agriculture to biodiversity of global significance by transforming markets for soy, palm oil and cocoa. BACP is a multi-donor initiative with contributions from the Global Environment Facility (GEF), Japan, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Netherlands, Norway, Luxembourg, Italy and New Zealand.
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