The Ghana Civil Society Cocoa Platform (GCCP) has rubbished claims made by the Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Cocoa Board, Joseph Boahen Aidoo, which sought to shift the blame of cocoa driven deforestation to timber loggers.
The CEO during a meeting with some group of cocoa manufacturers in Zurich is reported to have said he does not subscribe to the thinking that cocoa farming causes deforestation, but rather "loggers working for lumbering companies who sell the timber to Europe and Americans are the ones who enter those reserves and subdue the forest."
Debunking the claim at a press conference in Accra on Thursday, the CEO of EcoCare Ghana, Mr. Owusu Addai described the statement by the COCOBOD CEO as flawed.
He affirmed that cocoa is a leading driver of deforestation in the country, and accused COCOBOD of always falling short in admitting it.
"A recent Global Forest Watch report indicates that between 2017 and 2018, Ghana's rate of deforestation rose by 60 percent the highest in the world. The same report singled out agricultural expansion in the middle belt of Ghana, and mining as a leading cause of forest loss," he cited.
According to him, the statement made by the COCOBOD CEO degrades Ghana's commitment to fighting deforestation, especially from the cocoa landscape.
The NGO, however, called on the CEO to clarify his position on the cocoa-driven deforestation.
"We, therefore, call on the COCOBOD and its CEO to clarify their position on cocoa-driven deforestation, because this current position is not supported by the facts on the ground and by their own government statistics and research," he noted.
The Ghana Civil-society Cocoa Platform is an independent campaign and advocacy platform for civil society actors in the cocoa sector which comprises of Civil Society Organization, NGOs, Community-based Organizations, Farmer-based Organizations, Farmer Associations, Media and interested individuals.