27 public and private organizations and civil society representatives have committed to working together for inclusive and environmentally friendly growth in the Cavally region. The partners signed a Memorandum of Understanding during a workshop in Guiglo on 18 March 2022, chaired by Minister Anne Désirée Ouloto, President of the Regional Council of Cavally.
The Cavally region has an estimated population of 550,000-600,000 over 11,376 km2 and is an important producer of cocoa and rubber in Côte d’Ivoire. However, the region is plagued with deforestation and has lost about 80% of its forest cover between 1960 and 2018, mainly due to agricultural activities.
So, the Cavally Regional Council developed a Regional Land Use and Development Plan (SRADT), and a Green Growth Plan, supported by IDH. In 2018, a coalition of public and private sector actors, technical and financial partners and civil society came together to guide the development of the SRADT vision and the green growth plan. On 20 February 2020 in Abidjan, they signed a letter of intent. The signature of a Memorandum of Understanding in Guiglo on 18 March is the culmination of this consultation process.
Through this agreement, the signatories commit to working to implement the green growth plan, on the following themes:
- Protection, restoration and sustainable management of the Taï National Park and classified forests and other forests;
- The creation of conditions for sustainable forestry exploitation;
- The improvement of the productivity of cash crops and food products;
- The traceability of agricultural value chains;
- The creation of employment opportunities, especially for youth and women;
- The concerted search for solutions to the land problem;
- Facilitating access to financing for women;
- Involving the population in the protection of forests;
- The search for synergies between projects in the region;
These commitments will be monitored annually to assess progress and challenges, and to unite the signatories around implementation projects, supported by public and private funding. The partners’ ambition is to ensure that agricultural products grown in the Cavally region are no longer associated with deforestation, so that they can be exported to countries that regulate imported deforestation – such as European Union member states.
“The Memorandum of Understanding signed today is a key element of our green growth strategy in the Cavally region. I would like to thank all stakeholders for their commitment throughout the process, and congratulate them on the signing of this agreement. The agreement contains ambitious objectives, and we will therefore need the support of all signatories, whether from the private sector, the public sector, civil society, as well as technical and financial partners, so that these commitments can be achieved within the timeframe we have defined together,” said Minister Anne Désirée Ouloto at the end of the workshop.