The results of the baseline studies on land use change, drivers of deforestation and socio-economic issues in the wider Taï area, Côte d’Ivoire conducted for ISLA are now available. Based on these results, ISLA in Côte d’Ivoire will develop joint-actions.
The studies were conducted by Ecotierra Consulting and World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) to provide a better understanding of the historic and current situation of the land use change and its (socioeconomic) drivers in the landscape. The land use analysis gives insight into deforestation and drivers thereof in the landscape over the past decades.
The studies showed that high rates of deforestation has occurred, especially in the Fôret Classée (classified forest) of Goin-Débé, north of the Taï National Park. As a result, the majority of the forest cover has been lost.
The main driver for these changes is found to be human activity – such as extension of agricultural production areas, logging for wood energy production and illegal small-scale mining – exacerbated by weak forest governance.
Issues related to land ownership and the legal framework further exacerbate deforestation. Lack of understanding of and the complexity of the procedures related to the Rural Land Code and the Forest Code for example hamper their implementation and success in practice.
The results confirm that the Taï National Park is well preserved, however the pressure in the buffer zone of the park has increased. The studies reveal that about one million people live less than 10 km away from the national park, posing a serious threat of deforestation.
Knowledge and insight on deforestation trends and the main drivers for deforestation are important to understand the landscape dynamics. ISLA will use the result of these studies to develop joint projects together with the stakeholders, to address the key issues that are found. The results of the baseline study will thus be used to develop and focus joint actions in the landscape. A synthesis of the studies will be published by ISLA in April, and validation workshop organized where the results will be discussed and follow-up activities identified by ISLA stakeholders.