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Monitoring, Measurement, Reporting and Verification System for Cocoa sector in the Dominican Republic



The MRV4C project, developing a Monitoring, Measurement, Reporting and Verification (MRV) System for cocoa agroforestry in the Dominican Republic (DR) was a 1-year activity funded by the European Space Agency through the Open Call funding opportunity, addressing activity line 6, “EO for Sustainable Development”, of the ESA EO SCIENCE FOR SOCIETY programme.

The aim of the MRV4C was two-fold: use of EO and development of an interactive tool for supporting sustainable management and decision-making in a supply chain that is key for the DR economy – that of cocoa; and contribute to the sustainability and strengthening of the national REDD+ MRV system, funded by the Bio-Carbon Fund of the World Bank (FCPF).

With the support of the World Bank, GMV NSL engaged the DR Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, The Cocoa Department at the Ministry of Agriculture, the National Cocoa Commission (CONACADO) and the private sector, represented by the country’s main confederation of cocoa producers (DR Cocoa Foundation), besides several NGOs and international observers.

Using EO and AI, GMV NSL demonstrated the incredible potential of Sentinel data to benefit cocoa agroforestry and the DR economy by identifying the best areas to grow this crop, mapping current cocoa farms extension and determining above-ground biomass. Furthermore, GMV built a system and an interactive tool within a web-based platform that enables, for instance, the planning of suitable land for growing cocoa and the verification of a zero-deforestation cocoa supply chain.

The MRV4C project, leveraging on the data provided through the Copernicus Programme, demonstrated the role of EO to back up EU policies that aim to boost sustainable cocoa production by contributing to enhancing the economic, social, and environmental sustainability of cocoa in several countries (including the Dominican Republic, one of the largest supplier of cocoa beans to the EU).

As well as contributing to the DR country objectives, the project provided tangible evidence of how the Sentinel satellites can contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular, Goals 1, 2, 8, 13 and 15: “No-Poverty”, “Zero Hunger”, “Decent Work and Economic growth”,”Climate Action”,  and “Life on Land”.