The Cocoa Horizons Foundation is committed to a deforestation-free, carbon positive cocoa supply chain.
Cocoa Horizons focuses on activities and farmer coaching that help increase carbon sequestration, reduce carbon emissions, and ensure deforestation free sourcing.
Prevention of further emissions by achieving zero deforestation
Zero deforestation and carbon positive cocoa farming is strongly linked with lifting farmers out of poverty. Farmers earning a decent livelihood through improved cocoa production are far less likely to exploit new lands through deforestation. To ensure deforestation-free, all the farms are mapped via GPS polygons ensuring they are not in protected areas. Through monitoring of tree cover loss, we can assess the level of deforestation year on year and work together with the farmers to compensate for their past carbon liability for example via Agroforestry. Farmers with continued degradation once registered in the program (and therefore sensitized on deforestation) are excluded from the program.
Agroforestry: creating resilience through climate smart agriculture
Agroforestry is a system where trees are deliberately integrated with crops on the same land taking into account the local geophysical and social conditions. To be efficient, each system must be adapted to the local conditions. That’s why we start by making a farm diagnosis. Then we support farmers with training, high quality seedlings and technical assistance. The farms are monitored annually to track progress and will receive a payment for environmental services.
Agroforestry has various benefits, such as the optimization of cocoa production through shade management, improved nutrient cycling and soil fertility, erosion control, longer productive lifespan of the cocoa trees and greater agro-biodiversity to make cocoa production more resilient. At the same time, it increases income from multiple revenue streams, reduces exposure to product and income risks and production costs.
Restoring high value natural ecosystem
We use a combined landscape approach including forest protection, restoration, and agroforestry. Through this activity, we are not only restoring high value natural ecosystems, but we are also creating employment opportunities for local communities.
Driving activities towards carbon neutrality
Farmes are coached on climate smart agriculture:
· Retaining organic carbon in soils through ground cover, mulching or retaining harvesting and pruning residues in cocoa plots rather than removing or burning them;
· Retaining remnant forest trees;
· Increasing the density of cocoa trees;
· Increasing the number of non-cocoa trees on farms. The trees are valuable to farmers for fruit, fuel wood, shade, timber, and/or medicinal/herbal purposes. Trees may be planted in cocoa plots (as shade) or on-farm but outside the cocoa plots, including as ‘living fences’, disease barrier strips, on fallow/underutilized areas or nearby the household.