Updating the administrative boundaries of classified forests and parks and reserves requires heavy and time-consuming activities: redefinition of boundaries, physical updating of boundaries, consultations with stakeholders (e.g. local populations, civil society), etc. This work was performed from 2013 to 2018 for existing national parks and reserves by the Ivorian Parks and Reserves Office (OIPR) but has yet to be done for classified forests.
As an interim measure, the Cocoa & Forests Initiative (CFI) Steering Committee, during its last meeting on 8 November 2018, recommended that current maps of available administrative boundaries of parks, reserves, and classified forests are shared with CFI stakeholders. To this end, the Ministry of Water and Forests (MINEF) established a working group composed of experts from the MINEF, the National Bureau of Technical Studies and Development (BNETD), the Forest Development Corporation (SODEFOR), and the OIPR to work on harmonizing the data available for classified forests within their respective structures.
On Tuesday 21 May 2019, Minister Alain-Richard Donwahi officially handed over to Mr. Richard Scobey, President of the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF), the updated administrative boundaries of national parks, reserves, and those of classified forests that are yet to be updated, along with a list of forests classified according to their categories, based on their degrees of degradation. This data, submitted digitally and by paper, will be critical for companies to plan for their activities and ensure they don’t source cocoa from national parks and reserves, in accordance with Commitment 1 of CFI’s Joint Framework for Action (“Prohibit and prevent activities in the cocoa sector that cause or contribute to the further deforestation or degradation of National Parks and Reserves, Classified forests and forests of the protected forest domain (rural domain)”), and, for classified forests, in accordance with the Strategy for the Preservation, Rehabilitation, and Extension of Forests.