Côte d’Ivoire has lost almost all of its forests in half a century: the Forest Investment Project (PIF) launched on November 24 will have to triple its forest cover by 2030.
The FIP aims to achieve a “forest coverage of the country of 6.5 million hectares by 2030, i.e. 20% of the national territory”, according the World Bank, which is financing it to the tune of 143 million euros.
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“It is a question of preserving and increasing the forest stock thanks to an agroforestry program covering 300,000 hectares of degraded classified forests in the south-west of the country, and in classified forests in the Savannah zone (north) “, explained the Minister of Water and Forests Laurent Tchagba.
This seven-year project should also benefit the country’s four national parks, including that of Taï (west), Africa’s second primary forest, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as a biosphere reserve.
Cocoa trees and forestry
Delegations from Brazil, Colombia, Ghana, of Dominican Republic, cocoa producers like the Ivory Coast, participated in the launch of this project. “These countries will design a guide in which they will share large-scale experiences of associations of cocoa trees and forest trees”, explained Jean-Dominique Bescond, specialist in natural resource management at the World Bank.
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Côte d’Ivoire, which had 16 million hectares of forest in the 1960s, saw the area shrink to two million hectares, according to official figures, mainly due to the development of cocoa plantations, which the country is the world’s largest producer, with 40% from market.