Cocoa expansion is the primary driver of deforestation in Côte d’Ivoire. This hinders the achievement of sustainable agricultural practices and the Sustainable Development Goals. Designing and implementing effective measures to address these challenges requires a comprehensive understanding of the socioeconomic and environmental factors at play, as well as coordination among stakeholders across various sectors.
Being rooted in administrative boundaries, jurisdictional approaches can leverage ongoing decentralisation processes, particularly in Africa, and the corresponding transfer of responsibilities from national governments to decentralised territorial authorities. Jurisdictional approaches also offer opportunities to accelerate the transition towards deforestation-free and sustainable commodity production and to mobilise climate finance at scale. In this context, the EU REDD Facility is engaging with the Government of Côte d’Ivoire, the Mé Region and various stakeholders to support jurisdictional approaches on land use and zero-deforestation production to inform policy developments on sustainable agriculture.
The project aims to develop a jurisdictional approach at the regional level to enhance the sustainability of agricultural production in Côte d’Ivoire.
Multiple approaches have been promoted in tropical countries to tackle the complex socioeconomic and environmental issues related to the production of deforestation-risk commodities. These approaches vary significantly from one local context to another and involve different stakeholders. One of these approaches is certification schemes or farm-level approaches. However, they face several challenges. Their limited scope, focusing on individual farms or specific products, limits their ability to address the broader landscape-level challenges associated with deforestation. They may overlook the complex interactions between different land uses, stakeholders and commodities within a jurisdiction.
In contrast, jurisdictional approaches, based on administrative boundaries (such as a region or district) aim to bring stakeholders together around a common vision for the concerned territory and share responsibilities for implementing corresponding activities. This allows for a balanced and comprehensive approach that considers the broader context of deforestation, taking into account multiple commodities, land uses and stakeholders within a specific area. It enables the development and implementation of holistic strategies that address deforestation drivers effectively.
In Côte d’Ivoire, regional councils seem the most appropriate for dealing with this issue, both in terms of mandate and relevance at this scale for dealing with the specific challenges linked to the sector.
However, even if significant powers have been transferred to regional councils, the implementation process is still incomplete. A national decentralisation policy, accompanied by an operational plan, have been planned for several years but have yet to see the light of day.
Home page of the Côte d’Ivoire regional sustainability scoreboard
The EU REDD Facility first sought to define the conditions under which regional councils could take the lead on sustainability actions implemented in their regions. Based on an in-depth documentary review, all the administrative, technical and financial elements needed to define these conditions have been identified. A particular focus was placed on the Mé Region and on the various financial options for strengthening the resources and capacities of the regional councils on a long-term basis. Based on this analysis, the Facility is now supporting the development of the Mé Region’s first regional Green Plan in collaboration with GIZ (ProAgriChains programme).
In collaboration with the MPD, the Facility has also supported the development of the regional sustainable scoreboard 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.
Drawing on the Terpercaya initiative and the data already available, the Facility produced a preliminary map of the reference situation (2021) for the sustainability of the Ivorian regions, with a calculation method incorporating the weighting of each of the selected indicators. The aim now is to extend the map beyond the cocoa-producing regions.