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The Cavally region is one of the main forested areas of Côte d'Ivoire. With an estimated population of 550,000 people over 11,376 km2, it is also an important producer of cocoa and rubber. 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. Deforestation impacts not only forests in the rural domain, but also protected areas such as the Taï National Park and classified forests such as the Cavally, Goin Débé, or Scio classified forests.
To respond to this challenge, the Cavally Regional Council has led the development of two documents that support sustainable development of the region: a Regional Land Use and Development Plan (SRADT), and a Green Growth Plan, which were developed through a participatory process bringing together a coalition of public and private sector actors, technical and financial partners and civil society – a process supported by IDH.
In March 2022, 27 public and private organizations and civil society representatives signed a Memorandum of Understanding (a Production, Protection, Inclusion Compact), through which they committed to working together towards inclusive and environmentally friendly growth in the Cavally region.
Through this agreement, the signatories committed to support implementation of the green growth plan, on the following pillars:
- Protection, restoration and sustainable management of the Taï National Park; classified forests and other rural forests of the region;
- Inclusion of the population in the protection and restoration of forests, with a focus on youth and women;
- Promotion of fuelwood and timber through new tree plantations;
- Improvement of the productivity of cash crops (cocoa, coffee, rubber etc) and food products (rice, maize, cassava, yam, etc);
- Facilitation of access to finance through VSLAs;
- Support to acquisition of land certificates.