Cote D’Ivoire and Costa Rica partner on forest conservation and the sustainable use of forests

Cote D’Ivoire participated in a South-South Knowledge Exchange that took place from 27th July to 1st August 2019 in Costa Rica focused on sharing experiences and building capacities on REDD+ implementation and financing approaches for the forest sector. 
 
The exchange was jointly supported by UNDP Climate and Forests, UNDP Cote D’Ivoire and UNDP Costa Rica and it included the participation of high-level government officials from Cote D’Ivoire including the Minister of Water and Forests, Directors and Advisors from the Ministry and UNDP officials. The visit coincided with the visit by a high-level delegation from Korea led by the Minister of Korea Forest Service. The Cote D’Ivoire and Korea delegations conducted very productive meetings and field trips hosted by the Vice-President of Costa Rica and the Minister of Environment. 
 

Mr. Kim Jae-Hyun-Minister Korea Forest Service, Mr. Alain- Minister Water and Forests Cote D’Ivoire Alain-Richard Donwahi, Mrs. Epsy Campbell Barr, Vice-President Costa Rica and Mr. Carlos Manuel Rodriguez- Minister Environment and Energy Costa Rica

 

Costa-Rica is a world model in terms of forest conservation. The country has moved from 29% forest cover in 1996 to more than 50% nowadays. This remarkable achievement owes much to a high level of popular awareness, sustained political will, and linking forest conservation and expansion to social and economic benefits. Cote D’Ivoire on the other hand, one of the top cocoa producers, has lost nearly 85 percent of its forests since 1960, however is now committed to save its remaining forests. President Alassane Ouattara signed the UN New York Declaration on Forests in 2014 and committed to restore the national forest extent to 20 percent of the territory by 2030. 

Both Cote D’Ivoire and Costa Rica share similar ambitious vision for forest conservation and expansion. This common vision inspires a cross-country partnership that will strengthen local ownership and leadership of development issues by providing just-in-time support on “how-to.”  At the conclusion of the exchange, the Minister of Environment of Costa Rica and Minister of Water and Forests of Cote D’Ivoire signed a cooperation agreement in San Jose, expressing their interest in continued cooperation on forest conservation and forestry development. The cooperation between the two countries links the protection of forests with the fight against climate change.

The cooperation agreement will include continued engagement, regular consultations and a joint capacity building programme that will commence implementation in 2019.  The partnership will ultimately act as a framework to intensify technical and political cooperation, to share ideas, experiences and lessons learnt, and articulate a determined motivation for transforming the forest sector which will help realize the ambitions that sit at the heart of the SDGs.

The lessons and experiences gained from Costa Rica will be further digested to adapt to the context, traditions and viable options in Cote D’Ivoire to create a knowledge base and forge a strategic direction for accessing finance options for Cote D’Ivoire New Forest Policy.  The Cooperation Agreement highlights key activities that will facilitate the learning and exchange of best practices between Cote D’Ivoire and Costa Rica on REDD+, PES (payments for environmental services) and ecotourism. It will also encourage the joint exploration of public-private partnerships and setting up agreements with international corporations involved in commodities supply chains (i.e. cocoa, palm oil, coffee). UNDP will facilitate these partnerships and serve as the broker in the transfer of knowledge, expertise, products, services and resources.

Joint delegation of Korea and Cote D’Ivoire with Vice-President of Costa Rica on a field trip