Dense tropical forests are at the heart of many issues whose scope affects multiple actors: local populations and governments, economic operators, western consumers and non-governmental organizations. Agroforestery is one of the levers.
From 2013 to 2020 the ATIBT has implemented a large FLEGT-REDD project to improve the involvement of the private sector in the implementation of the FLEGT Action Plan (VPA process and RBUE enhancement) and the REDD+ mechanism. It is partly funded by the FFEM.
More specifically, Component 1 of this project aims to integrate the private forestry sector in initiatives to combat climate change and protect biodiversity (REDD+, PES, innovative plantations, agroforestry).
In this context, at the beginning of 2020 the consortium Eticwood/Gembloux/Pallisco won the call for tenders for agroforestry project whose TOR are here:
The general objective of the study is to contribute to the evolution of the model of forest concessions with a view to making the tropical rainforest a sustainable lever of territories. The aim is thus to ensure the diversification of activities in order to secure wood resources, restore degraded forests and protect forests in the permanent domain.
As a first step, the "Guide to setting up agroforestry projects for forestry companies" has been published in April 2020.
In a second stage, feasibility studies on projects carried out by two forestry companies were conduct
Below, summaries of these projects.
Pallisco has the project to develop an agricultural production carried out in collaboration with the local population : cocoa farming. The inhabitants already practices this culture and the region is experiencing a clear increase in the area under cocoa cultivation. Through this new market which would be characterized by a high environmental value, the company wishes to generate additional income to finance the activities related to the production and essential to maintain the FSC certificate.
As part of this study, the modalities of a collaboration between Pallisco and chocolate maker Barry Callebaut were explored. Through this partnership, the interest of the chocolate maker would be to have a strong local anchorage allowing him privileged access to the plantation areas in a perspective of sustainable and traceable cocoa production.
The collaboration between Pallisco, a pioneering company in forest certification in Cameroon and Barry Callebaut, one of the world's largest chocolate companies, offers considerable prospects for scaling up innovative agroforestry development models. This would provide the cocoa industry in Cameroon with a unique opportunity to develop in a sustainable and quality manner rather than taking the path of massive deforestation.
Tranchivoire has been carrying out its compensatory reforestation in classified forest since 1995 and ensures the maintenance of this reforestation during the first three years according to the legal obligation.
However, the future of these plantations remains uncertain due to peasant infiltration and the lack of follow-up after the company's departure. The company therefore wishes to orient its reforestation policy in the cocoa plantations located in the areas of its logging perimeters with the cocoa cooperative companies. The project seeks to interest voluntary producers based on an initial purchase price of standing timber. These producers will then be required to maintain the tree for which the new forestry law gives them ownership. At the same time, they will receive material assistance for the maintenance of these reforested areas as well as training on the future of the planted trees. A contract signed between Tranchivoire and the producers grants the forestry company a right of pre-emption on the trees planted in this way at the time of their future sale.
This project actually represents a scaling up of an initiative already tested by Tranchivoire in partnership with SACO, Barry Callebaut's Ivorian subsidiary, and then the chocolate maker Cémoi.
These two studies have made it possible to draw some initial lessons that complement the first guide and provide guidance for forestry companies : see the brochure
To find out more, meet us on 28 October 2020 at the webinar "Innovative opportunities in plantation and agroforestry in the private forestry sector in the Congo Basin and Côte d'Ivoire" - more about the program next week.