The EU REDD Facility moderated an EU side event held during the 15th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP15) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. Speakers from the EU, Ivorian NGOs and the Facility agreed that the fight against desertification in Côte d’Ivoire is closely linked to the fight against deforestation.
During the event, the EU REDD Facility expert on sustainable land-use policies, Romuald Vaudry, explained how securing land tenure, through the issuance of land certificates, is critical to preserve existing forests and drive the increase of forest cover in the Ivorian rural domain. By becoming owners of the trees, farmers (including women) can safely invest in their land, diversify their production systems, and improve their income. Land use planning and associated spatial planning tools, including down to the village level, are also essential for better land use.
Ivorian civil society representatives showed concrete examples how land certification in the Mé region made it possible to concretely fight deforestation and secure private sector investments, driving reforestation. They also showed how civil society can ensure that private and public actors comply with regulations in force through independent observation.
EU representatives explained how the EU works in partnership with countries in their ecological transition towards sustainability. In this framework, the EU supports Côte d’Ivoire in the development of a national strategy for sustainable cocoa. EFI provides technical support to this process in Côte d’Ivoire, but also in Ghana and Cameroon through the International Partnerships Facility’s Sustainable Cocoa Programme.