(Ecofin Agency) - In an article published on Le Banco.net, Antoinette Koukougnon-Nogbou, head of the Council for Cohesion, Justice and Development (CCJD), alerts about the ecological peril facing Côte d'Ivoire as forests disappear.
“We are once again raising our voices to alert national and international opinion about an ecological crisis currently prevailing in Côte d'Ivoire, following previous socio-political crises. Indeed the crises touched all the country’s 231 classified forests, 8 national parks, 30 nature reserves and 15 botanical reserves, most registered as part of Unesco World Heritage at Ramsar Convention. It is driven mainly by farmers and illegal miners,” the manager said.
“Côte d'Ivoire's forests are disappearing at an alarming rate. The country’s forest coverage was significant, but people’s activities have made it a savannah. And no appropriate measures are being taken to address the situation. Today, primary natural forests cover only half a million hectares and existing nature parks are threatened by massive illegal occupation, illegal logging and extensive agriculture, and land-insecurity-related activities threatening rural communities,” she added.
According to the official, the loss of forest cover has increased since the successive crises in Côte d'Ivoire. The illegal occupation of forest reserves by non-indigenous, non-native and indigenous farmers in search of arable land has led to the destruction of several thousand hectares of forests throughout the territory.
A particular case is the Banco primary forest which “had an area of 30 km² or 3474 hectares” and “to date, with human activity present, is less than 12 km²”.