Cooperation in action

Deforestation-free supply chains in Côte d’Ivoire and Indonesia

Cocoa fruits on a plantation

The West African country of Côte d’Ivoire is the world's most important cocoa producer and the main supplier of this most important ingredient for the manufacture of chocolate in Germany. Sadly, as much as three million hectares of West African rain forest have been destroyed so that cocoa can be produced – people in Germany consume almost ten kilogrammes of chocolate per person per year.

Deforestation is a complex problem and cannot be halted by individual actors. That is why the BMZ is assisting the Ivorian region of San Pedro in setting up multi-actor platforms. The aim is to develop joint solutions to stop deforestation and increase the tree population in cooperation with the private sector. An important input for developing deforestation-free production regions is support for land use planning and mapping the areas that are especially valuable and need to be protected.

Active afforestation is carried out, in cooperation with companies and small farmers, making cocoa cultivation part of an agroforestry system, in which production is more environmentally sustainable and the possibility of selling timber provides cocoa farmers with an economic incentive. These efforts also involve actors from the palm oil sector and from rubber production.


The measures to strengthen forest authorities need to be complemented by a rethink in the agricultural sector in Indonesia in order to halt the ongoing deforestation. These days, all major palm oil companies have, for instance, published voluntary anti-deforestation policies; however, implementing these commitments is a complex and time-consuming task because of complex supply chains, the local political situation, the involvement of civil society and supply networks.

That is why the deforestation-free supply chain approach supported by the BMZ addresses several different levels. Kapuas Hulu, a district at the heart of the Indonesian province of West Kalimantan, was chosen as the partner region. This region is a "deforestation hot spot", where export crops such as palm oil and natural rubber are cultivated, but it is also home to significant natural forests and vast peat bogs. In early 2017, a declaration of intent was signed with the district authority on promoting measures to support verifiably sustainable agricultural supply chains and forest conservation. A steering committee, consisting of authorities, private businesses and civil society, is currently being established which will oversee the creation of a sustainability-based procurement region.

Measures are being developed in cooperation with the local planning and forest authorities with a view to integrating the internationally recognised protection approaches involving high carbon stock areas and high conservation value areas into land use planning. Extensive mapping of these areas is currently under preparation.

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