Country Profiles

Côte d'Ivoire - Country Profile

Biodiversity Facts

Status and trends of biodiversity, including benefits from biodiversity and ecosystem services

The content of this biodiversity profile is still draft. The text below has been prepared by SCBD and remains subject to final approval by the Party concerned.

Côte d’Ivoire is located at the westernmost limit of the Gulf of Guinea in West Africa. Since the 1960s, 34% of the country’s forest cover has been lost to timber production, however agriculture is the most significant factor contributing to deforestation today. Activities linked to this trend relate to traditional agricultural production, characterized by low technical capacity and ecologically destructive slash-and-burn techniques. The increase in the agricultural production of export products, such as coffee, cocoa, rubber, pineapple and oil palm, primarily in the southern part of the country, is an even greater threat to deforestation. In 2004, coffee and cocoa contributed 7% to the GDP and represented 46% of the country’s exports.

The fisheries sector contributes only 0.8% to the agricultural GDP, however is important for jobs and incomes for over 400,000 people (with about 75% engaged in artisanal fisheries). Marine fisheries, all together, produce between 50,000 and 70,000 tons of fish per year, including 2,000 to 5,000 tons of marine invertebrates, consisting of langoustine, and 5,000 to 6,000 tons of lagoon invertebrates, dominated by the swimming crab and walking crab. Côte d’Ivoire also possesses 3 tuna canneries that generate export earnings, and it is estimated that aquaculture production yields between 3,000 and 6,000 tons of fish per year. Food crop agriculture and livestock production are increasing at a slow but steady rate. Although primarily for domestic consumption, livestock production has become a secondary economic activity, contributing 4.5% to the agricultural GDP and 2% to the overall GDP in 2004.

Inland waters are nowadays subject to profound changes due to pollution and an increase in the level of dam construction. Mangroves are also threatened by various factors, including overexploitation for wood products, that have immediate harmful consequences on this habitat. Since the mid-1980s, rivers, lakes and lagoons have been invaded by 3 invasive alien species, namely, the water hyacinth (Eicchornia crassipes, Pontederiaceae), water fern (Salvinia molesta, Salviniaceae) and water lettuce (Pistia stratiotes, Araceae). Activities related to the oil and gas industry have resulted in massive disruption or destruction of the coastal seabed.

Since 1960, 26 species of vascular plant species have become extinct or are found on an exceptional basis, and 70 additional species are threatened with extinction (e.g. Alafiascandens) or have become rare. In terms of wildlife, 82 species are included on IUCN’s Red List as endangered, comprising 1 amphibian, 59 birds and 22 mammals. A number of insect species are endangered, notably the Goliath Beetle (Golathus regius), a species particularly coveted by collectors. As for terrestrial mollusks, only snails (escargots) collected for their high domestic and international commercial value are threatened. Côte d’Ivoire uses 1,500 plant species for medicinal purposes. Comestible mushrooms are particularly popular in food preparation.

Regulations and legislation have not yet been adopted to deal with the significant conservation challenges posed by illegal bushmeat markets. An important – however lesser known – challenge relates to the illegal traffic and commerce in certain bird species (e.g. Francolinus bicalacarus, Numida melecegris, Trenon australis).

Main pressures on and drivers of change to biodiversity (direct and indirect)

The content of this biodiversity profile is still draft. The text below has been prepared by SCBD and remains subject to final approval by the Party concerned.

The main threats are associated with: climate change; invasive alien species; epizootic outbreaks; overexploitation of biological resources (e.g. poaching, overfishing); habitat destruction (e.g. agriculture, exploitation of forests, urban development, pollution); structural causes (e.g. poverty; perception of the importance of biodiversity; weak conceptual and operational capacity).

Measures to Enhance Implementation of the Convention

Implementation of the NBSAP

The content of this biodiversity profile is still draft. The text below has been prepared by SCBD and remains subject to final approval by the Party concerned.

Côte d’Ivoire’s first NBSAP (2002-2010) was based on 8 themes: biodiversity conservation; biodiversity use and valuation; education and information; awareness-raising and civil society participation; training and research in integrating spiritual values and traditional knowledge in biodiversity conservation; improvement of legal and institutional frameworks; fair and equitable sharing of benefits derived from the exploitation of biological resources; and management in biotechnology and biosafety. Eighteen strategic directions were also defined. In spite of efforts taken by the Government and partners to implement the NBSAP, biodiversity loss is not under control. In recognition of the need to more effectively address issues and fulfill the commitment made by Parties in Nagoya in 2010, a revised and updated NBSAP has been prepared for the 2011-2020 period.

The goal of the new NBSAP is to intensify and optimize efforts taken at the national, regional, communal, community and individual levels towards biodiversity conservation. The main objectives are to: preserve biodiversity components and their ecological functions; assure a level of use that is compatible with the carrying capacity of the ecosystem and the reproductive capacity of species; allow everyone to profit from the opportunities presented from biodiversity valuation on a continual basis. Seventeen national targets to 2020 have also been adopted and mapped to achieving the Aichi Biodiversity Targets.

Actions taken to achieve the 2020 Aichi Biodiversity Targets

The content of this biodiversity profile is still draft. The text below has been prepared by SCBD and remains subject to final approval by the Party concerned.

As previously mentioned, Côte d’Ivoire has adopted 17 national targets which have been mapped to achieving the Aichi Biodiversity Targets (see

Protected areas now comprise 17% of the national territory. They are managed today at decentralized levels, including the local level, with responsible authorities encouraged to consider protected areas in initiatives associated with spatial and socioeconomic planning. Marine areas of ecological and biological importance have been identified, and discussions are being held at present regarding the establishment of a marine protected area. A foundation created within the National Office for Parks and Reserves (OIPR) assures sustainable funding for this sector. The establishment of private protected areas is encouraged.

Herbivorous insects are being used to control 3 alien invasive species, namely, water hyacinth (Eicchornia crassipes), water fern (Salvinia molesta), and water lettuce (Pistia stratiotes). An action plan to address problems associated with alien invasive species has also been developed.

Actions are being taken to develop irrigation processes aimed at increasing the contribution of irrigated agriculture to the agricultural economy (through increased competitiveness and sustainability).

Support mechanisms for national implementation (legislation, funding, capacity-building, coordination, mainstreaming, etc.)

The content of this biodiversity profile is still draft. The text below has been prepared by SCBD and remains subject to final approval by the Party concerned.

Côte d’Ivoire has achieved a high level of biodiversity mainstreaming in planning documents that will contribute to achieving the goals of the global framework. Such documents include: National Development Plan 2012-2015; National Strategy for Sustainable Development; Poverty Reduction Strategy Document; National Strategy for NGOs; National Environment Action Plan; Master Forestry Plan; National Reforestation Plan; Master Plan for Agricultural Development; Framework Programme for Protected Areas Management; National Plan to Combat Desertification and Land Degradation; Programme for the Protection of Marine Turtles; Framework Programme for Wildlife Management; and the Research and Action Programme for the Protection of Primates in Côte d’Ivoire.

In terms of capacity-building, research linked to various aspects of the global agenda is being carried out today by the Swiss Centre for Scientific Research, National Research Centre for Agronomy, National Centre for Flora, University of Cocody, University of Abobo-Adjamé, Centre for Oceanographic Research and the Ecological Research Centre, among other institutions. Côte d’Ivoire is also conducting a research programme on traditional pharmacopeia.

The 1998 Rural Land Law and the National Programme on Securing Rural Land call for actions related to the delimitation of rural lands and issuance of property titles to holders of rural (customary) land rights, among others.

The Environment Code (1996) contains provisions for instruments such as the “Polluter Pays Principle” and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). Today all projects must be submitted to EIA before work begins. Also relevant are the Water and Forestry Code, Mining Code, Petroleum Code, Investment Code, Land Code, Law on National Parks and Reserves.

Mechanisms for monitoring and reviewing implementation

The content of this biodiversity profile is still draft. The text below has been prepared by SCBD and remains subject to final approval by the Party concerned.

A mechanism for comprehensively monitoring and reviewing implementation does not exist. However, Côte d’Ivoire does recognize the need to establish observatories, mechanisms for data management and a committee for NBSAP monitoring and evaluation, as well as secure the firm engagement of all stakeholders for enriching data pools.