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.
The EU REDD Facility’s objective is to support Côte d’Ivoire in updating the implementing framework for PES-type direct incentive mechanisms. This support draws on several pilot projects developed in recent years, with the aim to help public and private stakeholders to understand and use direct incentives for forest restoration.
Since 2015, the EU REDD Facility has supported Ivorian authorities in defining and testing the PES policy, which is at the heart of its 2017 National REDD+ Strategy. To prepare PES implementation at national level, in 2015, CIRAD supported a feasibility study in Côte d’Ivoire. In 2016, the EU REDD Facility drafted a practical guide to PES, to test its modalities on-site.
Since the development of its National REDD+ Strategy and of these PES guidance documents, Côte d’Ivoire has also committed to the Cocoa & Forests Initiative. It launched a new policy to restore, expand and protect forests, which has resulted in the adoption of a new Forest Code. The Code refers to the PES mechanism and so does the Cocoa & Forests Initiative Action Plan, which foresees the development of PES to restore forests.
The National REDD+ Strategy describes the main potential characteristics of a PES approach for Côte d’Ivoire, building on the feasibility study and the practical guide for PES in Côte d’Ivoire. It identifies four potential PES implementation models for:
PES contracts can be set up with individuals or communities. In the latter case, communities enter into collective agreements through a representative village institution (association, development cooperative, community development committee, etc.).
In 2017, this scheme was tested as part of the Nawa PES project. Other projects, such as the Mé REDD+ Project or those implemented under the Cocoa and Forests Initiative, have tested or are preparing to test other PES models, thus providing useful lessons.
Beyond the possible establishment of a national PES programme, public and private project developers will be able to use these models, provided that the stakeholders’ guidelines are clear and harmonised. This helps ensure the PES initiatives’ effectiveness, sustainability and follow-up.
Cocoa organic plantation in the Mé region
The EU REDD Facility analysed in detail the experience and lessons learnt from two innovative PES pilot projects. These allowed testing several PES contract models aimed at restoring forest cover in cocoa landscapes using different approaches.
In addition, the project tested another reforestation incentive approach based on a partnership with a forest operator, who bears the costs and guarantees a minimum timber purchase price for the smallholder farmers.
Tree nursery in Assawlèkro, Nawa region, Côte d’Ivoire