Côte d'Ivoire map

Côte d’Ivoire

Between 1960 and 2020, Côte d’Ivoire’s forest cover declined from 12 million hectares to less than three million hectares as agriculture, in particular cocoa production, expanded. Since 1986, deforestation rates have been extremely high, at around 2,8% annually. At current trends, Côte d’Ivoire’s forests will soon no longer fulfil their productive and ecosystem functions, threatening the country’s agricultural economy, and putting at risk the livelihoods of millions of smallholder farmers.

Since 2014, Côte d’Ivoire has made strong commitments to decouple agricultural production from deforestation and restore forest cover to 20% of the territory by 2030, from the current 9,2%. These commitments were integrated into the country’s National REDD+ Strategy, adopted in 2017. The strategy articulates the country’s multisectoral response to boost forest restoration and zero-deforestation agriculture. A new forest code, adopted in 2019, provides the overall framework for action to extend and restore forests. However, important issues are still under discussion regarding the adoption of incentive measures to encourage farmers’ investments in forestry activities in the rural domain.

In 2021, the EU and Côte d’Ivoire initiated a policy dialogue on sustainable cocoa to address the root causes of unsustainable cocoa production ahead of the adoption of the EU Deforestation Regulation in June 2023.

To address the underlying causes of deforestation, in 2022, the Ministry of Planning and Development (MPD) initiated the development of its first National Spatial Planning Scheme and a National Support Programme for Territorial Planning at various jurisdictional levels. At the same time, the Rural Land Agency continues to implement the National Plan for Land Tenure Securing with World Bank support.

EU REDD Facility work in Côte d’Ivoire

We work with public and private partners in Côte d’Ivoire to scale up action to restore forests and transition to sustainable agricultural practices.

After having carried out various actions (see below), we focus on:

  • Supporting jurisdictional approaches on sustainable land use and zero-deforestation production to inform (inter)national policy developments on sustainable agriculture.
  • Facilitating forest restoration through the development and piloting of innovative solutions to support land-use planning and enhance tenure security in the rural domain.

Supporting jurisdictional approaches

In Côte d’Ivoire, as elsewhere, commodity supply chain approaches based on private certification or private sector sustainability programmes are struggling to demonstrate their ability to reduce deforestation. For nearly 15 years, and particularly under the impetus of the REDD+ mechanism, various landscape approaches (based on ecological boundaries) or jurisdictional approaches (based on administrative boundaries) have been developed to address this issue.

  • After seeking to define the conditions under which regional councils could take the lead on sustainability actions implemented in areas under their jurisdiction, the Facility is now supporting the development of the Mé Region’s first regional Green Plan in collaboration with GIZ.
  • In close collaboration with the MPD, the Facility has also supported the development of the regional sustainable scoreboard (https://durabilite-regions-ci.org) to characterise the level of sustainability of regions in Côte d’Ivoire and highlight the achievements of regions committed to the sustainable development of their territories.

Facilitating forest restoration

In Côte d’Ivoire, reforestation and agroforestry efforts in the rural domain often neglect land-use planning and land tenure security. However, these are essential to restore the balance between agriculture and forests in Ivorian landscapes. They can also encourage private investment in forestry activities, including by smallholders. The lack of consideration given to land-use planning and the securing of tenure eventually acts as a barrier to scaling up best practices and securing needed investments in the long term.

To contribute to the achievement of the Forest Landscape Restoration commitments made by Côte d’Ivoire under the AFR 100 initiative, and in close collaboration with the Forests4Future programme of the GIZ, the Facility is supporting:

  • The MPD in developing and testing a participatory land-use planning methodology at village level.
  • The Rural Land Agency in issuing gender-oriented land certificates over 2500 ha of wooded areas.

EU REDD Facility actions in Côte d’Ivoire

Home page of the Côte d’Ivoire regional sustainability scoreboardhttps://durabilite-regions-ci.org

Supporting decentralisation and Ivorian regions to improve natural resources sustainability

Discover how jurisdictional approaches developed by/in regions of Côte d’Ivoire can be a game changer, fostering coordination among stakeholders to address environmental issues and promote sustainable commodity production.
Drawing up a land-use plan in Amani-Nguessankro (village women's group)Romuald Vaudry, European Forest Institute

Restoring Ivorian forest landscapes through participatory land-use planning and land tenure security

The EU REDD Facility’s project in Côte d’Ivoire aims to overcome challenges in forest restoration through participatory land-use planning and securing land tenure. It focuses on developing village-level land-use planning methods to achieve a balance between agriculture and forestry. It also targets the gender-oriented delivery of land certificates on 2500 hectares of forest areas.
Measurement of the basal area in the Mé REDD+ projectRomuald Vaudry, Nitidæ

Taking stock of the implementation of PES in Côte d’Ivoire

The EU REDD Facility has taken stock of three years of testing the payments for environmental services (PES) mechanism in Côte d'Ivoire, which aims to help restore and conserve forest cover. Lessons learnt from pilot projects and discussions with national stakeholders led to the updating of the guidelines for project developers interested in implementing direct incentives for forest restoration.

Côte d’Ivoire’s publications