SNV funded a research to examine the impact of forest canopy and forest tree diversity on cocoa agroforestry systems and the implications for REDD+. The objectives of this study were to quantify the baseline carbon stocks in different smallholder cocoa farming systems, identify land and tree tenure challenges, analyse farmers’ perceptions of trees in cocoa farms and assess the feasibility of implementing REDD+ interventions in cocoa landscapes. This document presents the approach of this study and the findings and outcomes from the field.
Cocoa is one of the most widely cultivated tree crops in tropical West and Central Africa. Traditional cultivation systems whereby cocoa farms are established under the native forest canopy offer better opportunities to store carbon and mitigate climate change than agricultural land uses whereby large timber species are removed. Unfortunately, cocoa farmers are increasingly shifting to no-shade production systems, posing a threat to the sustainability of the sector.