A media training workshop to empower journalists as stakeholders in the Cocoa Forest Initiative (CFI) has been held in Accra on Thursday.
Put together by Eco-Care Ghana, a local non governmental organisation working to transform decision–making processes of natural resources, it was also intended to challenge the media to develop interest in ensuring CFI was implemented to the letter.
The CFI is a joint move by Côte d’Ivoire and 34 leading cocoa and chocolate companies in Ghana to end deforestation and restore forest areas.
Managing Campaigner for Eco-Care Ghana, Obed Owusu-Addai said extensive media coverage on CFI implementation processes, regularly reporting and monitoring CFI in the country was key to holding authorities accountable to their words.
“The media has a very important role to play in this direction and we are excited that we brought together media practioners from various media houses to inform and create awareness amongst them.
‘’We are expecting the media to follow through the implementation, move to the communities and report on the progress and implementation. Most commitments being made by policy makers are just by word of mouth and has really not gone down to the grass roots,” Owusu-Addai stressed.
He observed that most farmers in the rural areas had no or little knowledge about promises, commitment, dedication and determination being made by stakeholders at the national level.
Commenting on his outfit’s commitment, determination and dedication to enhancing environmental governance, Mr Owusu-Addai noted that measures were being put in place to enable cocoa producers adopt agro forestry systems and practices that were climate compliant.
He said the action plans focused on forest protection and restoration, sustainable cocoa production, farmers’ livelihoods, community engagement and social inclusion.
Vincent Awotwi Pratt, a representative from the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF), disclosed that at the start of the project, only 12 companies were committed to addressing global and local climate change, currently 32 companies with two local companies had joined the move to combat climate change.
By BENEDICTA GYIMAAH FOLLEY