The Global Environment Facility (GEF) tonight was presented with the 2012 Sustainable Standard-Setter award by the Rainforest Alliance at its 25th annual gala for work in supporting the sustainable cultivation of cocoa in rainforest regions. The gala honors individuals and organizations from the public and private sectors whose work in the environment protection and conservation proved great impact to communities around the world. GEF CEO and Chairperson Monique Barbut received the award on behalf of The Global Environment Facility.
The award recognizes the partnership between the Rainforest Alliance and the GEF to bring 10% of the world’s cocoa supply – some 1.85 million acres – into more sustainable systems of production that will help conserve the extraordinary biodiversity of tropical regions. The GEF has supported the Greening of the Cocoa project with a $5 million grant and cofinancing of $15 million, funds that will help improve farming practices to conserve the environment, increase farmers’ income, benefit families and communities, and provide long-term sustainability for the cocoa industry. The program involves cocoa cultivation in ten countries: Brazil, Côte d’Ivoire, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Ghana, Indonesia, Madagascar, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, and Peru. The aim is to develop and apply sustainable agriculture standards and promote business production principles that will protect the environment while allowing local farmers and communities to benefit from viable business models.
“The GEF wants to engage the private sector to become more active at the local and international levels, and facilitate the transfer of technology for the valorization of resources” said Monique Barbut.
The Rainforest Alliance was established 25 years ago with the goal of conserving biodiversity and promoting sustainable livelihoods by providing farmers, forest managers and tourism businesses with the tools to realize greater economic benefits while conserving local biodiversity and ecosystems.
“Our anniversary gala awards ceremony provides us with the opportunity to recognize companies that have worked hard alongside us to promote environmental and social responsibility” said Tensie Whelan, president of the Rainforest Alliance.