Biodiversity and Smallholder Cocoa Production Systems in West Africa.

TitleBiodiversity and Smallholder Cocoa Production Systems in West Africa.
Publication TypeWorking Paper
AuthorsGockowski J, Sonwa D
Secondary TitleSTCP Working Paper SeriesIssue 6
PublisherInternational Institute of Tropical Agriculture
Year of Publication2008
Date PublishedJanuary 2008
Publication LanguageEnglish
AbstractTropical rainforests are estimated to account for more than half of the plant and animal species on earth with some estimates ranging up to 90 percent, although they only cover about seven percent of global land area. The focus of our analysis is cocoa production and deforestation in the Guinean moist forests of West Africa. Identified more than 30 years ago as a global priority ecosystem for biodiversity conservation (Myers, et al., 1988) these forests are home to more than a quarter of Africa’s mammals, including more than 20 species of primates. However, rapid land-use change is threatening to consume the few remaining intact remnants of this ecosystem, which are home to an estimated 1,900 endemic plant and animal species (Conservation International, 2007). Once covering an estimated 600,000 km2, only 10 to 15 percent of these forests remain. The West African cocoa industry which has been installed in this landscape by millions of small family farms, has done so in some places benignly and in other cases less benignly, and now accounts for more than 70 percent of global cocoa supply.
KeywordsAfrica, Biodiversity, ecosystem, Farmers, land use, Tropical forests
Citation Key678