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29 November Nov 2018 1430 29 November 2018

Ivory Coast: promoting legality and good practices in the timber sector to save forests

Thanks to the funding provided by the FAO-EU Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Programme, AVSI works in the country with the local artisans for the formalization of the timber trade

Progetto Flagt

In the last 50 years, the Ivory Coast lost 80% of its forests (from 16 to 4 million hectares). Deforestation has been mainly driven by conversion of forest to agriculture, some of which has been illegal. Nevertheless, forests still make an important contribution to the country's economy, and provide jobs and livelihoods for local people. Most industrial production of timber is destined for the export market.

"If we don't act" - says Stephan Cocco, programme manager at the EU Delegation to Ivory Coast - "In 2030 there won't be anymore wood in the country".

In this dramatic situation, AVSI, within the FAO-EU Flegt programme, works to promote legality and good practices.

"We are working to formalize the actors of the wood sector in three districts of Abidjan (Abobo, Treichville et Yopougon) and in the cities of Yamoussoukro, Bouaké and San Pédro" - Laurent Ayemou, AVSI project manager explains - "The final goal is to create a "Central d'achat" (a Central Purchasing unit) to coordinate the legal and high quality wood purchase by the artisans."

This video shows all the challenges and achievements of the project:

The FLEGT programme

The FAO-EU Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Programme seeks to reduce and eventually eliminate illegal logging. With the support of its donors, the FAO-EU FLEGT Programme funds projects created by governments, civil society and private sector organizations in Latin America, Africa and Asia to improve forest governance. The Programme works in support of the European Commission’s Action Plan on FLEGT to promote the legal production and consumption of timber by granting funds to projects, and assisting them at all stages from the original design through to the final outcome. Decreasing illegal logging contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals by alleviating poverty (SDG 1), ensuring food security (SDG 2), mitigating climate change (SDG 13) and managing a forests sustainably (SDG 15).

FAO's FLEGT Programme has supported more than 200 projects in some 40 countries producing tropical timber since 2008. Find out more: www.fao.org

Find out more: AVSI experience in artisan empowerment shared by Bamba Lassine (Program manager AVSI Ivory Coast) in the Capacity4dev sharing platform