The Sustainable Cocoa Production for Biodiversity Conservation

In the past month of August, the 3rd Dominican Chocolate Festival was held in our country, organized by CAD. This festival concluded with a grand 3-day exhibition in the central atrium of Agora Mall in Santo Domingo, in which our Biodiversity in Productive Landscapes project participated with a booth visited by cocoa producers, chocolate companies, representatives from international organizations, and the public.

On the last day of this grand exhibition, we hosted a panel discussion titled “Benefits of Sustainable Cocoa Production for Biodiversity Conservation.” Our biodiversity and governance specialist, Katarzyna Grasela, engaged in a conversation with experts in sustainable production and biodiversity conservation on this subject.

During the panel, Osterman Ramírez highlighted the work that has been carried out through the BPP project, providing support to cocoa producers in the Yamasá municipality in terms of best practices for sustainable cocoa production. To date, more than 300 producers have received training through the Field Schools implemented as part of this project in collaboration with indocafe technicians.

Hodali Almonte emphasized the importance of diversifying crops in cocoa plantations, with a focus on planting species that can also serve as food sources for birds. On the other hand, Mauro Weber Rosito explained how agroforestry aims to emulate the natural processes performed by nature, considering all the ecosystem benefits: water cycle protection, temperature regulation, water absorption into the soil, organic material production, and biodiversity enhancement.

Attendees at the panel had the opportunity to discuss their concerns with the panelists regarding the topic and highlighted the importance of using new technologies to enhance sustainable farming processes.