Editor’s pickOlam Cocoa and Rainforest Alliance educate school children in Côte d'Ivoire about dangers of deforestation

31-01-2020

Programme educates on sustainable, climate-smart practices.

To mark the United Nations’ International Day of Education, Olam Cocoa has announced plans to extend an education programme that teaches school children from farming communities in Côte d'Ivoire about the impact of climate change and deforestation.

Five schools – comprising of almost 1,000 school children – have participated in the programme so far, and Olam Cocoa has established a partnership with Rainforest Alliance and the Côte d'Ivoire government to extend it to three more this year. The programme is focused on educating the next generation in sustainable, climate-smart practices and further contributes to efforts to eradicate deforestation in the country.

Nanga Kone, country manager for Côte d'Ivoire, Rainforest Alliance, explained: “Educating children on the value of trees and teaching them to grow forest tree seedings in a nursery has double benefit – not only for the students’ education but also in reinforcing the messaging to farmers, because the children go home and talk to their parents about what they are doing at school.”

As part of the programme, school children will be taught about protecting the environment and the importance of trees. Learning will be hands on as they are asked to maintain a shade tree nursery, plant trees and build awareness in their communities. Children will receive rewards for conservation activities, including school supply kits, watering cans, school uniforms, painting pots, and sports equipment.

Danièle Kouassi, head of cocoa sustainability in Côte d’Ivoire, Olam Cocoa, concluded: “We believe that educating young people and empowering them to become sustainability champions in their communities is key to tackling the problem. We are already working directly with farmers to provide training and resources. By tapping into the interest children and teachers have in protecting the environment, we know we can have an impact that extends much further.”