Africa Palm Oil Initiative

Partnerships for Forests is supporting the Africa Palm Oil Initiative to realise its vision of a prosperous palm oil industry that balances economic development with social and environmental sustainability, while protecting the rich tropical forests of West and Central Africa. 


The Africa Palm Oil Initiative (APOI) was formed to help transition to a sustainable and responsible the palm oil sector in West and Central Africa. The initiative safeguards environmental targets for reduced deforestation, sustainable land use and greenhouse gas emissions in a way that is environmentally and socially sustainable and protects the rich tropical forests in the region.

November 2016 was a defining moment for the APOI, when seven African governments, representing over 70 percent of Africa’s tropical forest, publicly signed the TFA 2020 ‘Marrakesh Declaration’ . At the UNFCCC’s COP22 in Morocco, each pledged to place sustainability, good governance, and the recognition of community and human rights at the heart of Africa’s expanding palm oil industry.

As the first of TFA 2020’s ‘Signature Initiatives’, the APOI brings together partners from the public and private sectors, civil society and community groups from ten palm oil producing countries in the region: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Republic of Congo, and Sierra Leone. The APOI aims to capitalise on momentum by offering ongoing support and central coordination to ensure each country can deliver its commitment.

The project

Partnerships for Forests is supporting the transition of the APOI into implementation phase. Expanding on past DFID investments, we’re supporting the initiative to move from agreed national principles and the regional Declaration to substantial new investments.

This work, coordinated by Proforest under TFA 2020, will enable partners to:

  • build and strengthen public-private partnerships for responsible palm oil production;
  • finalise the national principles and action plans in producer countries;
  • develop national palm oil platforms in ten countries;
  • implement the national action plans; and
  • promote regional harmony, learning, and monitoring to support the regional palm oil platforms.

Every year, the APOI convenes regional meetings to connect its implementing partners with stakeholders from around the world. These meetings provide a space to forge stronger connections between the TFA 2020 community in West and Central Africa. It helps found and strengthen public-private partnerships for sustainable palm oil production and share experiences and lessons learnt from the APOI process for multi-stakeholder commodity platforms around the world.


APOI convened its fifth regional meeting in October 2018. Hosted in Brazzaville, the Republic of Congo.


In May 2018, the APOI convened the first Africa Implementation Dialogue. Organised back-to-back with the TFA 2020 General Assembly in Accra, it brought together jurisdictions in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana with key stakeholders who could provide support in realising their forest conservation plans while responsibly growing their economies.


APOI’s fifth regional meeting, October 2018.


Using the lessons learnt in Accra, the APOI convened its fifth regional gathering on 8-11 October 2018 in Brazzaville, the Republic of Congo. The discussion focussed on ‘moving from principles to practice’ in the implementation of the national action plans. Sessions included panels, presentations and working groups led by experts from around the world.

Further reading

Find out more about the APOI here.

Current status