The Cavally Forest Reserve is one of the 234 classified forests of Côte d'Ivoire. It is part of a forest corridor connecting the Taï National Park in Côte d'Ivoire with the Grebo Kran and Sapo National Parks in Liberia. The Cavally Forest Reserve covers an area of 67,541 Ha and is home to endangered species such as chimpanzees and pygmy hippopotamus. In November 2017, in partnership with the forest development agency of Côte d’Ivoire (SODEFOR - Société de Développement des Forêts), Earthworm Foundation launched a pilot project using Starling (a solution co-developed with Airbus) to monitor deforestation, mainly related to cocoa, in the Cavally Forest Reserve.
This enabled the establishment of a base map of the Cavally forest in January 2018, which indicated that 33% of the forest is highly degraded (with sun cocoa), and another 7% is degraded (with cocoa under the forest canopy). Based on this finding, Earthworm Foundation entered a partnership with Nestlé, the Ivorian Ministry of Water and Forests (MINEF) and the Ivorian Forest Development Agency (SODEFOR) in July 2020 to help protect and restore the Cavally Forest reserve and enhance the resilience of local communities through a 3-year funded project.
Encouraged by the positive impact reached by mid-2023, the partnership has now renewed its commitment for another three years with improved metrics and additional partners supporting the Cavally Landscape project, including the Swiss government (SECO), Touton, Cocoasource and the rubber industry. One of the learnings from the first phase was that both cocoa and rubber smallholders living at the periphery of the forest reserve might be tempted to encroach onto the protected area looking for fertile soils in which to establish plantations. By collaborating with stakeholders from both the cocoa and rubber sectors, the aim is to jointly stop deforestation and fight poverty without merely shifting problems from one sector to another.
Reduced deforestation rate from 6% in 2018 to 0.7% in 2023 in the Cavally Forest Reserve
Higher economic and social resilience among local communities - 350 women having access to Village Savings and Loans Associations, 460 producers engaged in alternative income generating activities, 160 producers coached on Good Agricultural and Environmental practices & 250 children received birth certificates
1’500 ha of trees replanted and more than 7’000 ha of natural regeneration in the Cavally Forest Reserve
Cavally is one of the key ecosystems where Earthworm Foundation works through its landscapes approach.
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