Cote d’Ivoire has one of the highest levels of deforestation in sub-Saharan Africa. Its forest cover decreased from 16 million ha in 1900, to 7.8 million ha in 1990, 5.1 million ha in 2000, and 3.4 million ha in 2015 (SEP- REDD, 2016). According to these estimates, more than 80% of the forest disappeared during the last century, at an average rate of 250,000 ha per year, a rate which persists recent years.
The Project uses satellite imagery with advanced spatial analysis and economic valuation tools, and the development of natural capital accounts to map and quantify the economic and ecological value of land . It has three main components:
- a national land-use inventory that classifies and differentiates physical surface cover types in space. The land use inventory offers a substantial improvement in spatial and temporal resolution as well as overall utility compared to the maps and the tools currently used in Côte d’Ivoire.
- a national natural capital valuation framework which identifies areas most at risk of deforestation (‘deforestation risk index’) and quantifies the social value of land use services by combining land use inventories with natural capital valuation. This helps policymakers to take informed land use management decisions that consider the social costs and benefits of different options.
- a national forest disturbances early warning system (EWS), which helps to build effective governance through a fortnightly forest disturbance warning system, based on radar images. This improves detection of illegal activities and enables timely enforcement on the ground, helping to limit total tree loss and improve control of forest resources by preventing further expansion.