Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 Africa Palm Oil Initiative

Palm Oil
Type of partnership
Enabling Conditions
Current status

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 develop and support the implementation of principles that ensure palm oil production in West and Central Africa delivers economic development while at the same time safeguarding environmental targets for reduced deforestation, sustainable land use and GHG emissions, as well as addressing numerous social issues.

The APOI, which is the Tropical Forest Alliance (TFA) 2020’s first signature initiative, 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.

November 2016 marked a defining moment for the APOI, when seven African governments publicly signed the TFA 2020 Marrakesh Declaration for the Sustainable Development of the Oil Palm Sector in Africa. The pledge to place sustainability, good governance, and the recognition of community and human rights at the heart of the expanding palm oil industry in Africa was made at the UNFCCC’s COP22 in Morocco. To capitalise on this momentum, the APOI needs to ensure agreements are delivered by offering ongoing support and central coordination.

The Programme

The programme seeks to leverage past DFID investments to develop actions for implementation in signatory countries. Partnerships for Forests is supporting the transition of the APOI into its implementation phase; moving from agreed national principles and a regional declaration to substantial new investments to realise responsible oil palm development in involved countries. This work, coordinated by Proforest under TFA 2020 is enabling partners to:

  • build and strengthen public-private partnerships for responsible palm oil production;
  • finalise the national principles and action plans in the 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.

The project has yielded promising results to date.  The third APOI Regional Meeting was held in Gabon in October 2017 enabling APOI countries to share lessons learned, promote regional monitoring of the main trends and expectations for responsible development of oil palm industries in Africa and build and strengthen public-private partnerships for sustainable commodity production in West and Central Africa. Currently, Ghana, Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire have developed their principles and actions plans and have successfully graduated to the implementation stage.

To find out more about the APOI, click here.