Recovering from civil war and restoring forests in Côte d’Ivoire


Women and children pose outside one of the warehouses built by the ITTO project in the province of Duekoue, Côte d’Ivoire. Photo: P. Masupa/ITTO

In the wake of a civil war, Côte d’Ivoire is seeking to bring people together, including through the restoration of degraded forests. An ITTO project there helped match restoration work in the gazetted forests of Scio and Duekoue with the humanitarian needs of internally displaced people, refugees and local people.

A major component of the project was a series of sensitization campaigns to bring local leaders together in ways that would, over time, help heal the wounds inflicted by the civil war. The campaigns encouraged a sense of collaboration and led to the implementation of forest restoration and sustainable forest management involving people living in the area. The project helped to enrich and protect natural forests using high-quality seeds of indigenous and exotic tree species and to establish taungya agroforestry systems.

The project enabled the establishment of nine cooperatives (with more than 7000 members) in nine villages for the management of warehouses, the installation of food-processing equipment in those warehouses, and management training for members of the cooperatives. The project assisted in the reconciliation and social integration of local communities, who previously had been unwilling to work together. It helped improve the living standards of beneficiaries and the daily lives of women and contributed to food security.

In light of the project’s success, the Government of Côte d’Ivoire is now seeking to replicate it in other parts of the country.