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Strengthening Forest Governance in Côte d’Ivoire
This piece by Meerim Shakirova and Nalin Kishor was originally published by the Climate Investment Funds.
Improving governance is key to addressing the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation, and ensuring overall sustainable forest management. This is especially true in Côte d’Ivoire, where forest governance is complex and includes processes and institutions—formal and otherwise—through which government agencies, citizens, and other groups articulate their interests, exercise their legal rights, meet obligations, and mediate differences.
The Climate Investment Funds (CIF) and the Program on Forests (PROFOR) teamed up to help develop a governance assessment tool, which was used to evaluate Ivoirian forests according to 64 governance indicators. The findings were published in a new report, “Participatory forest governance assessment for Côte d’Ivoire,” presented in early October 2019 in Abidjan.
The report was launched at an event co-organized by the Integrated Project Administration Unit (UIAP). More than fifty participants representing diverse stakeholders attended the event, including representatives from the Ministry of Water and the Environment, as well as civil society and business groups. Across sectors, there is a consensus that forests are essential to livelihoods, environmental services, climate change mitigation, and have social and cultural significance.
The assessment concluded that the policy, legal, institutional, and regulatory frameworks for the forest sector are generally robust, although there is room for improvement. In addition, it called for significant efforts to reform and strengthen national planning and decision-making processes as well as improve implementation, enforcement, and compliance with forest policy laws and regulations.
The publication made policy recommendations for strengthening governance, including through clearer benefit-sharing arrangements, inclusion of women in decisionmaking, and stronger cross-sector coordination.
The report identified five areas that warrant further strengthening. These are efforts to ensure that:
- Forest development plans and budgets address the main drivers of deforestation and degradation
- The law has specific provisions for sharing benefits from public forests with local communities
- Provisions of the law protect the environmental and cultural contributions of forests
- Women participate in forest-related decision-making
- Field foresters have the capacity to properly oversee the areas assigned to them
The participants at the workshop agreed that the findings and recommendations of the governance assessment were useful for informing the design and implementation of concrete actions that strengthen forest governance in Côte d’Ivoire.
Improving forest governance for the forest sector presents significant challenges and requires continuous efforts and long-term engagement. This workshop represented another important step in the journey to strengthen forest governance for Côte d’Ivoire.
Last Updated : 11-11-2019