There has been increasing attention, from the international community, on the impact cocoa production has on rainforest deforestation and biodiversity conservation. On one hand, cocoa production has been identified as a significant contributor to tropical forest deforestation in the Ivory Coast and other cocoa producing countries. On the other hand, there are several examples of how sustainable agroforestry cocoa systems have helped protect biodiversity and finance rainforest conservation, especially around protected areas.
This presentation will provide an overview of how cocoa is associated with deforestation in some cases, but also present specific examples where cocoa sold in the craft chocolate market has been a catalyst for increased biodiversity financing and protected area expansion.
Preventing further loss of rainforest in cocoa producing countries will require, among other efforts, establishing financing mechanisms for conservation areas on private lands, where success will depend on cooperation with landowners and the chocolate industry.