Protecting and developing the Taï and Comoé nature conservation and economic areas

Project description

Title: Development of the Taï and Comoé nature conservation and economic areas in Côte d’Ivoire (PROFIAB II)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Côte d’Ivoire
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MINADER)
Implementing partners: Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development (MINSEDD), Ministry of Environment, Water and Forests (MINEF), Ministry of Animal Husbandry and Fisheries Resources (MIRAH), the Coffee-Cocoa Board (CCC), the Cotton and Cashew Council (CCA), the National Agricultural Services Agency (ANADER), Office of Parks and Reserves (OIPR), Foundation for the Parks and Reserves of Cote d'Ivoire (FPRCI)
Development partnerships with: Centamin, Cocoanect
Partners: Development partnerships with TNCI, Barry Callebaut, CIPEXI
Overall term: 2016 to 2019

Foto 1 PROFIAB - Parc national de Taï

Context

The effects of the social conflicts since the end of the socio-political crisis of 2011 continue to be visible in the agricultural sector and in many protected areas and national forests in Côte d’Ivoire. The national parks Taï (West Africa’s largest intact rainforest) and Comoé (the largest national park in the region) are two of the most important protected areas. Both national parks have been designated as biosphere reserves as well as natural World Heritage sites.

The parks’ ecosystems, biodiversity and natural resources form the basis of the agricultural economy. Approximately 15 per cent of the world’s cocoa is produced in the vicinity of Taï National Park. The region is nevertheless one of the country’s poorest, with more than 40 per cent of the population living below the poverty line.

As the country’s most important source of income, the agricultural sector uses and simultaneously jeopardises the ecosystem services provided by the national parks.

During the social and political unrest, the national parks increasingly became the target of poachers and gold diggers. The natural resources and biodiversity in and around the parks are also at risk due to population growth and migration movements, illegal land use, expanding agricultural export production and livestock breeding. Unadapted agricultural management, the population groups’ competing claims to land utilisation and insufficient park management pose a threat to both national parks. They also impede the potential for poverty reduction in the parks’ periphery.

Objective

Stakeholders from selected value chains in areas on the periphery of the Taï and Comoé national parks use revenue-raising methods of production, processing and marketing which do not pose a threat to biodiversity, are ecologically sustainable and innovative.

The park management authorities and people living on the periphery of the parks have improved protection, the sustainability of ecosystem services and regulated economic use.

Foto 2 PROFIAB - Cobe de Fassa au Parc national de Comoé

Approach

The project will work with stakeholders from the cocoa, manioc, cashew and vegetable value chains in the areas on the periphery of the national parks. It will strengthen the capacities of smallholders, conservation area management and state structures, producers’ associations and umbrella organisations.

The focus will be on the following fields of action:

  • Anchoring improved, revenue-raising and sustainable methods of production, processing and marketing in the responsible institutions
  • Improved agricultural extension services regarding innovations
  • Action plans for improved services provided by farmers' organisations to their members
  • Establishing a monitoring system to measure the methodological, economic and environmental effects of innovations in the value chains
  • Establishing more effective and improved national park management, including the participation of people living on the periphery of the parks.
Foto 3 PROFIAB - Produits manioc

Results

  • Advisory strategies and materials on sustainable cultivation and business methods are applied.
  • 45,000 producers and approximately 10,000 pilot farmers and advisors have been trained on innovations in agricultural value chains and have improved their income.
  • The business models included in public-private partnerships (PPP) have strengthened smallholder operations.
  • National park management has been fundamentally professionalised.
  • Biomonitoring activities and agreements on the economically efficient use of natural resources in the neighbouring areas of both protected areas have begun.
  • Approximately 5,000 hectares of illegally cultivated cocoa-growing areas in Taï National Park have been regenerated.
  • The UNESCO World Heritage Committee removed Comoé National Park from its List of World Heritage in Danger in 2017 thanks to the successful natural conservation efforts of Côte d’Ivoire and its international partners.