Between 1960 and 2017, Côte d'Ivoire's forest cover declined from 12 million hectares to less than 3 million hectares as agriculture, cocoa production in particular, expanded. Deforestation rates are extremely high, at around 3% annually. At current trends, Côte d'Ivoire's forests will in the near future not be sufficient to fulfil their ecosystem functions, threatening the country’s agricultural economy, and putting at risk the livelihoods of millions of smallholder farmers.
Côte d'Ivoire has made strong commitments since 2014 to decouple agricultural production from deforestation and restore forest cover to 20% of the territory by 2030, from the current 11%. These commitments were first 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 framework for action to extend and restore the country’s forest cover.
Many private sector actors, particularly in the cocoa supply chain, have also formulated sustainability objectives, some of which have been put into practice through pilot projects of agroforestry and plantations. Public and private common objectives to end deforestation have been consolidated in the Cocoa & Forestry Initiative's Joint Action Framework signed in November 2017. This collaborative framework promotes public-private partnerships, which will be essential to implement forest restoration at scale and reach Côte d’Ivoire’s sustainability objectives.
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.
Our focus is on:
- Supporting the scaling up of economically viable zero-deforestation agriculture models in partnership with supply chain actors and the financial sector.
- Testing incentives for communities and smallholder farmers to take an active role in forest restoration and sustainable commodity production.
- Enhancing the transparency of the cocoa supply chain to manage deforestation risks and promote Côte d’Ivoire’s sustainability efforts to its trading partners.
Scaling up sustainable cocoa production models requires adequate economic and financial solutions by EU REDD Facility
Scaling up zero-deforestation investments
We support Côte d'Ivoire in scaling up public and private investments in sustainable commodity production, cocoa in particular. We have partnered with the UN-Environment Programme through the "1 for 20 Partnership", which aims to mobilise USD 1 billion for the restoration of Côte d’Ivoire’s forests to 20% of the country’s land area. To do so, the 1 for 20 Partnership:
- Analyses the economic viability of cocoa production models to ensure that they are viable, offer incentives for small producers, and are anchored in local development plans.
- Connects the international financial sector with public and private partners for setting up large-scale financing projects, designed around plans for scaling up.
- Promotes public-private dialogue for sharing experiences on viable sustainable agricultural models and practices, with meetings taking place several times a year.
Creating incentives for sustainable agriculture production
Smallholders, who almost exclusively control the cocoa plantations, are instrumental in the transition to zero-deforestation production. Yet they cannot bear its initial cost on their own. Scaling up sustainable cocoa production models requires innovative economic and financial solutions that incentivise and support new production approaches at all stages of the cocoa production chain. Since 2016, we have partnered with Côte d’Ivoire’s ministry in charge of the environment and with chocolate manufacturer Mondelez International to test Côte d’Ivoire’s first Payment for Ecosystem Services pilot scheme. Based on lessons from the field, we advise Ivorian partners on best approaches to design incentive mechanisms for sustainable agricultural production.
A tree nursery managed by a local cooperative by EU REDD Facility
Transparency in cocoa production and trade
Côte d’Ivoire’s cocoa sector sustainability efforts are timely, as cocoa-consuming markets such as the European Union are beginning to respond to the environmental and social risks associated with cocoa imports. We work with the Ivorian Government, the cocoa industry, civil society actors and the EU to foster a collaborative approach to manage the risks related to cocoa imports in the EU, and promote West African sustainability efforts with its trading partners.
|1 for 20 Partnership||Taking stock of the implementation of PES in Côte d'Ivoire||A path to sustainable cocoa: financial solutions for Côte d’Ivoire|
Côte d'Ivoire's FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA)
In 2013, Côte d'Ivoire and the EU began negotiations towards a VPA to improve forest governance and ensure that only legal timber and timber products reach the EU market.
For more information, see the Côte d'Ivoire page on the EU FLEGT Facility's website.