Efforts by the private and public sectors in the Cavally Forest Reserve, Côte d'Ivoire are looking positive, according to project partners.
"I would like to point out that this project is one of our best private sector partnership projects,” said Laurent Tchagba, Ivorian Minister of Water and Forests. “The project has helped to slow down the rate of deforestation through the use of innovative tools – namely Starling satellite monitoring of deforestation, strengthening of ground patrols, reforestation of degraded areas, and development of alternative activities benefitting communities on the periphery of forests."
In September 2022, a report titled, “Cavally: Community Resilience for Forest Regeneration” was released during a press conference held in Abidjan. The report exhibited the impact of the project to conserve and rehabilitate the Cavally Forest Reserve.
With an area of 67,541 hectares, the Cavally Forest Reserve is a classified forest in western Côte d'Ivoire that is home to abundant fauna and flora, which are under threat. A reference map of the forest was drawn up in January 2018 by Airbus, Earthworm Foundation and Ivorian forest agency SODEFOR. This map indicated that 33% of the forest was heavily degraded.
“The project has helped to slow down the rate of deforestation through the use of innovative tools – namely Starling satellite monitoring of deforestation, strengthening of ground patrols, reforestation of degraded areas, and development of alternative activities benefitting communities on the periphery of forests." Laurent Tchagba, Ivorian Minister of Water and Forests
In July 2020, Côte d'Ivoire’s Ministry of Water and Forests (MINEF), Earthworm Foundation, Nestlé and SODEFOR formalised their commitment over a three-year period. This involves protecting forested areas in the reserve, restoring degraded areas and strengthening the resilience of communities living on the outskirts of forests.
For the Director of Corporate Communication and Public Affairs at Nestlé Côte d'Ivoire, Mame Pane Sakho, the conservation and rehabilitation of the Cavally Forest Reserve is in line with the commitments of the group. It supports the fight against deforestation, a sustainable supply of cocoa and a supply chain with zero deforestation by 2025, he said.
The Swiss Ambassador to Côte d'Ivoire, Anne Lugon-Moulin, said she was "personally impressed by the results. It proves that with a limited budget and good public-private partnership, we can federate a force and be effective."
"Perpetuate the Cavally model" to conserve and rehabilitate forest reserves in Côte d'Ivoire. This is the wish of Gerome Tokpa, Earthworm Foundation’s Regional Manager for West Africa.
"We are very satisfied with the mid-term review. We have shown that by working with communities, we can achieve extraordinary things,” Tokpa said. “We can be proud of the collaboration with Nestlé, SODEFOR and other partners. We are now looking for other partners to be able to continue this work so that the case at Cavally triggers a snowball effect to better protect the 234 forest reserves in the rest of the country."