Cavally Region (Côte d’Ivoire) signs Letter of Intent to conserve forests and create jobs

The Cavally Regional Council (Côte d’Ivoire), with the support of IDH – the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) on 20 February 2020 signed a Letter of Intent with public, private, civil society and communities to work together towards green growth in the region. The Cavally Region in the west of Côte d’Ivoire borders Liberia and encompasses the Taï National Park, which is a well-protected nature reserve with several classified forests adjacent to it.

Minister Anne Ouloto signing Letter of Intent 20 Feb 2020 in Cote dIvoire© IDH

Minister Anne Ouloto, President of the Cavally Regional Council, signing the Letter of Intent

The projects will focus on the following themes:

  1. Protection, restoration and sustainable management of the Taï National Park and classified and other forests;
  2. Agricultural intensification in the rural land sector;
  3. Traceability of agricultural value chains;
  4. Creation of employment opportunities, especially for young people and women;
  5. Involvement of the population in forest protection;
  6. The concerted search for solutions to the problem of land tenure;
  7. Resource mobilization for the implementation of the Green Growth Plan;
  8. The search for synergies between projects in the region;

The highly biodiverse Cavally territory has potential not only for agriculture but for other industries such as tourism. It is home to many endangered species and species that cannot be found anywhere else in the world, such as chimpanzees and the pygmy hippopotamus. The successfully conserved forest in the Taï National Park regulates the climate in the region, thus favoring the production of important agricultural commodities such as cocoa, coffee, rubber, oil palm, timber and rice.

However, illegal agricultural expansion, population growth and socio-political crises have led to accelerated degradation of these classified forests and posed a threat to the Taï National Park. The Letter of Intent (LoI) marks a move to take action in order to safeguard the cocoa-dependent Ivorian economy and in order to stabilize the Cavally region, which has been affected by conflicts over rural land tenure.

The LoI was signed in conjunction with a workshop on “Green growth in the Cavally Region” attended by 60 participants at the Hotel du Golf on the morning of 20 February. At the workshop, public and private representatives shared activities underway in the Cavally region as well as the Regional Development and Spatial Planning Plan (SRADT), which IDH supports alongside the Region and the Department in charge of Spatial Planning of the Ministry of Planning and Development. This plan makes it possible for diverse initiatives working towards green growth to work together towards their goals.

Signatories of the Letter of Intent were the Regional Council of Cavally, IDH, The Sustainable Trade Initiative, Private Sector Companies operating or having interests in the Cavally region, public sector agencies of the national ministries represented in the Cavally region, national and international Civil Society organizations and the Riparian Communities of the Cavally Region.

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