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Kone inza wiley-2013
Kone inza wiley-2013
Kone inza wiley-2013
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Kone inza wiley-2013


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The policy of nature conservation in Côte d ’ Ivoire …

The policy of nature conservation in Côte d ’ Ivoire
dates from the colonial era from which it derives its
legal and institutional foundations. Since then and
especially since the acquisition of political independence
in 1960, the country passed a series of laws and
decrees and ratifi ed most international conventions
related to biodiversity conservation.

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  • 1. CHAPTER 4 Wildlife in Jeopardy Inside and Outside Protected Areas in Côte d’Ivoire: The Combined Effects of Disorganization, Lack of Awareness, and Institutional Weakness Inza Koné Centre Suisse de Recherches Scientifiques en Côte d’Ivoire, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire; Laboratory of Zoology, Université Félix Houphouet-Boigny, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire having been hunted to near extinction or even extinc- tion. If the enormous human pressures on natural resources in Côte d’Ivoire are inherently related to population growth and poverty, the chaotic situation just described shows the ineffectiveness of conserva- tion policies in the country. This chapter demonstrates that the failure of conservation policies in Côte d’Ivoire can be attributed to the lack of synergy between gov- ernmental institutions, a lack of awareness about the importance of nature conservation, and a glaring institutional weakness. INTRODUCTION Côte d’Ivoire is located in the middle of the Upper Guinean ecoregion in West Africa. This ecoregion is a biodiversity hotspot characterized by high endemism of fauna and flora, and is considered a top priority for biodiversity conservation in West Africa (Mittermeier, Myers and Mittermeier, 1999).The conservation policy SUMMARY The policy of nature conservation in Côte d’Ivoire dates from the colonial era from which it derives its legal and institutional foundations. Since then and especially since the acquisition of political independ- ence in 1960, the country passed a series of laws and decrees and ratified most international conventions related to biodiversity conservation. Meanwhile, several state institutions were created with specific missions and have had mixed fortunes. However, despite these measures that reflect a certain political will for nature conservation, the situation is alarming, 50 years after the independence of this country. Indeed, Côte d’Ivoire is one of the tropical countries that recorded the highest rates of deforestation. Since 1960, the country has lost about 67% of its original forest cover. The effects of deforestation and illegal hunting of wildlife in the country have been devastat- ing. Animal populations are becoming scarce in most national parks and forest reserves, many species Conservation Biology: Voices from the Tropics, First Edition. Navjot S. Sodhi, Luke Gibson, and Peter H. Raven. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Published 2013 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
  • 2. Africa: Wildlife in Jeopardy Inside and Outside Protected Areas in Côte d’Ivoire 27 (Figure 4.1), and since 1960 the country has lost approximately 67% of its original forest cover (Tockman, 2002). With the population of the country projected to increase from 20.6 million people today to 46.1 million people in 2050, and widespread expecta- tions for increasing standards of living, the situation can only get worse, indicating the need for effective action as soon as it can be initiated. Today, less than one-quarter of its primary forest remains, totaling approximately 24,000km2 . These high deforestation rates were driven by demand for tropical hardwoods and by expansion of commercial and subsistence farming, which were prized by the gov- ernment as cornerstones of the country’s economic development and thus actively encouraged. While this policy has made Côte d’Ivoire the world leader in cocoa production and Africa’s largest exporter of coffee, it has come at the expense of extensive forest areas through- out the country. What little forest remains is mostly confined to small fragments on which farmers increas- ingly encroach. Often, government authorities do little to prevent this encroachment, because it is perceived as a solution to forestall the outbreak of land conflicts between communities. Like agriculture, logging activities have been charac- terized by intense development, which was encouraged by low tax rates and high exploitation royalties. Annual timber production increased tenfold between 1950 (228,000m3 ) and 1965 (2,560,000m3 ), then gradu- ally expanded to over 4,000,000m3 in 1969 and 5,321,000m3 in 1977. Given that the production of 10m3 of timber requires the destruction of two ha of in Côte d’Ivoire dates back to the 1950s, when the country was still a French colony. The original policy was based on the creation and management of an important network of protected areas (PAs), which col- lectively encompass all major ecosystems within the country. By the time of independence in 1960, more than 5 million hectares (ha) of terrestrial ecosystems were under protection (Ibo, 1993). After independ- ence, existing PAs were reinforced and expanded in size, and additional PAs were created. In Côte d’Ivoire today, there are eight national parks (NPs) covering a total area of 18,568km2 , six wildlife and nature reserves covering 3396km2 , and 16 botanical reserves covering 1984km2 . In total, more than 7% of the country’s land area is under official protection. In addi- tion, there are 147 classified forests covering another 3626km2 . Classified forests are a special category of PAs managed by a governmental agency primarily for sustainable timber production. Three of the Ivorian PAs are recognized as World Heritage sites: Taï NP (4540km2 ) in southeastern Côte d’Ivoire, Comoé NP (11,492km2 ) in northeastern Côte d’Ivoire, and Mount Nimba Nature Reserve (50km2 ) in northwestern Côte d’Ivoire. Two others are listed as wetlands of international importance: Azagny NP (199km2 ) and Ehotilé Islands NP (6km2 ) in southern Côte d’Ivoire. Taï NP, Ehotilé Islands NP, and Mount Péko NP (340km2 ) are considered as being of excep- tional importance for regional integrated conservation of Upper Guinean forests (Conservation International, 2001). As part of its biodiversity conservation policy, Côte d’Ivoire has passed a series of laws and ratified many of the international conventions relating to biodiver- sity conservation, including the Convention on Biologi- cal Diversity, the Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the International Agreement on Tropical Woods, the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of Inter- national Importance, the Convention on the Struggle against Desertification, and the Convention on Climate Change. Importantly, hunting has been forbidden throughout Ivorian territory since 1974, with the aim of reducing human pressures on animal species and populations. However, despite these measures, Ivorian ecosystems have experienced continuous and increased biodiver- sity erosion. Today, 50 years after independence, the situation is alarming. Côte d’Ivoire has one of the highest rates of deforestation among tropical countries Figure 4.1 Dynamics of the forest cover in Côte d’Ivoire between 1980 and 1991. Reproduced with permission from Lauginie (2007) Conservation de la Nature et Aires Protégées en Côte d’Ivoire. NSEI/Hachette et Afrique Nature, Abidjan. 0 2,000,000 4,000,000 6,000,000 8,000,000 10,000,000 12,000,000 14,000,000 16,000,000 18,000,000 1880 1900 1956 1966 1974 1981 1986 1991
  • 3. 28 Conservation Biology country. In this chapter, we argue that the main reasons for this are the disorganization of the conser- vation sector in Côte d’Ivoire, the lack of awareness among various stakeholders about conservation issues and strategies, and institutional weakness at several levels. DISORGANIZATION OF THE CONSERVATION SECTOR IN CÔTE D’IVOIRE Legislative and institutional initiatives implemented in Côte d’Ivoire aimed at conservation, and the control of natural resource exploitation show that these issues have received much attention, but their limitations and the inadequacy of their enforcement also indicate the constant need for improving both the laws and the institutions responsible for their execution (Ibo, 2004). Current Ivorian laws have mainly been inspired by those of the colonial period and have largely proved inadequate for the current situation; the mismatch often effectively constitutes an obstacle to conservation (Ibo, 2004). The observed inefficiency of the many institutions in charge of various aspects of biodiversity exploitation and conservation has partly resulted from the antiquated nature of most key laws, as well as the lack of synergy among the existing laws. Often the role of institutions is not clearly under- stood by stakeholders. For example, in 2006, at the launching of the Tanoé program (a pilot community- based management project for the conservation of critically endangered primates in southeastern Côte d’Ivoire), it was not clear which governmental institu- tion should be the liaison with local communities. This resulted in significant delays that could have jeopard- ized the survival of these primates and other animals. According to the government, the Direction de la Pro- tection de la Nature, is in charge of conservation strate- gies in the rural domain, and the Direction de la Faune et des Ressources Cynégétiques (DFRC) is in charge of the management of wild animals inside and outside of PAs. Furthermore, the scope of DFRC overlaps with that of the Office National des Parcs et Reserves (OIPR), which is in charge of the management of NPs and forest reserves, and that of the Société de Développe- ment des Forêts (SODEFOR), which is in charge of the management of classified forests. The same issues of collaboration arose when the United Nations Environ- ment Program (UNEP) and partners launched an forest (Monnier, 1981), these high timber production rates represent the destruction of millions of ha of native forest. In addition to logging, mining, the con- struction of major hydroelectric dams, and the devel- opment of an impressive network of roads have also had devastating effects on the forest ecosystem (Laug- inie, 2007). “Commercial” hunting has also flourished throughout the country, despite the nationwide prohi- bition against it (Caspary and Momo, 1998; Caspary, 1999). Hunting pressure has reached unsustainable levels for most species even in the best conserved areas of the country (Refisch and Koné, 2005). These high rates of land clearing and illegal hunting have had devastating effects on the country’s wildlife. Populations of many species are now confined to the small areas of remaining forests. Even inside NPs and forest reserves, many animal populations have been hunted to near-extinction or even extinction. For example, the population size of the African elephant (Loxodonta Africana), the most emblematic species for the country, has decreased from approximately 100,000 individuals in 1900 to 4000 in 1980 (Merz, 1982, cited by Lauginie, 2007; Pfeffer, 1985). Origi- nally, elephants were present throughout the country; they are now confined to less than 15% of the land area (Direction de la Protection de la Nature, 1991). The pygmy hippopotamus (Choeropsis liberiensis) has expe- rienced a similar fate, having been driven to extinction at many sites within its historical range in Côte d’Ivoire because of deforestation. Its population size decreased from 19,000 individuals during the period 1982–1986 (Roth et al., 2004) to 15,000 in 1997, with approxi- mately 12,000 of these in the Taï NP. The most recent population estimates in Taï indicate a maximum of 2000–5000 individuals, with very few surviving at other sites. Among primates, species sensitive to hunting pres- sure and habitat disturbance have been extirpated from most areas. This is the case for Miss Waldron’s red colobus (Piliocolobus badius waldronae) (Oates et al., 2000), and the Diana Roloway guenon (Cercopithecus diana roloway) (Koné and Akpatou, 2004; Gonedelé Bi et al., 2008). A recent national survey of chimpanzees revealed that the population size has decreased by more than 90% in the last 20 years, and confirmed that only a few PAs still house viable populations. If the huge human pressure on natural resources in Côte d’Ivoire is naturally linked with population growth and poverty, the examples just given clearly demon- strate the inefficiency of conservation policies in the
  • 4. Africa: Wildlife in Jeopardy Inside and Outside Protected Areas in Côte d’Ivoire 29 LACK OF AWARENESS AT MULTIPLE LEVELS Another deep reason for the inefficiency of conserva- tion policies in Côte d’Ivoire is a lack of knowledge or deliberate violation of laws by foreign immigrants, who are often illiterate and unaware of local laws. Thou- sands of people have settled in classified forests and even NPs, and the creation of large plantations of cocoa and coffee has led to substantial degradation of the forest habitat. Significant quantities of the cocoa and coffee produced in Côte d’Ivoire were grown in classified forests and PAs. In these rural areas, many of the local residents are unaware of the nationwide pro- hibition of hunting. At a higher level, the importance of conservation to local and national economies is not well perceived even by decision makers. Most development strategies are based on the creation of large plantations, domestic animal farms, and fisheries. Wild animals are generally considered to be economically counterproductive because of the damage they cause to plantations or animal farms. However, a simple analysis of the eco- nomic value of wild animals could easily prove that in fact they deserve special attention for their potential to generate money through ecotourism. In Kenya, ecot- ourism generated 320 million euros in 1980, with a single living elephant estimated as generating 13,000 euros per year (Western and Henry, 1979; Brown and Henry, 1989; Whelan, 1991). Even if the Ivorian fauna and ecosystems are not as attractive as those in Kenya or other countries, the potential certainly exists for developing ecotourism as an important source of national income, and thereby providing benefits to the local populations as well (Lauginie, 2007). Until the value for ecotourism is realized, the economic value of wild animals will be limited to their use as bushmeat. Bushmeat is by far the most important source of animal protein in the rural areas of Côte d’Ivoire (Caspary et al., 2001). In 1996, the annual take of wild animals for meat was approximately 120,000 tons, with an estimated commercial value of 118 million euros, rep- resenting 1.4% of the national gross domestic product (GDP; Caspary and Momo, 1998). In comparison, the annual production of domestic meat overall was esti- mated to be fewer than 60,000 tons. If the importance of natural forests for rainfall is realized and the impact on productivity of agriculture and fisheries is grossly perceived, even by the illiterate, most actions in the field are obviously dictated by the important Côte d’Ivoire–Liberia corridor project in 2009. The lack of synergy between SODEFOR and DFRC is no doubt one of the major reasons why many classified forests exhibit the “empty forest” syndrome, in which the forest appears relatively intact but animal populations are extremely small or absent (Redford, 1992). SODEFOR focuses on the management of logging activities and surveillance against illegal timber harvesting, and pays little attention to the poaching of wild animals. The lack of synergy is also apparent between techni- cal institutions from different ministries. For example, while the Ministry of Environment is trying to clear out the people settled in PAs, the Ministry of Education builds schools for these peoples within the PAs arguing that their children must have access to education even if their settlement is illegal. The logging sector is also disorganized, because logging concessions are not always managed by “certi- fied” companies (Lauginie, 2007). Last but not least, rangers tend to make the management of PAs their exclusive business, despite the crucial importance of contributions by other practitioners such as biologists and social scientists. The failure of conservation policies is also caused by lax planning and monitoring of the exploitation of natural resources. Indeed, the attribution of logging concessions without respecting certain conditions and the frequent unjustified declassification of classified forests indicate that personal interests often predomi- nate over national interests including nature conserva- tion(Lauginie,2007).Inaddition,thefrequentchanges of ministerial positions and restructuring of these min- istries result in regular changes of priorities, leading to lengthy delays or even cancellations of important con- servation projects. In addition, there is no clearly defined behavior code for donors, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and private organizations acting in the field of conservation. These institutions tend to follow their own priorities and develop their own strate- gies not always in line with those of governmental agencies. Sometimes they impose their own ideas and methods on governmental agencies even if the approach is detrimental to true nature conservation. For example, the GTZ concept of Zones of Controlled Occupation tolerates the exploitation of preexisting plantations within a PA under certain conditions and was imposed on OIPR in Taï NP, although it is fundamentally contrary to all principles of park management.
  • 5. 30 Conservation Biology an active presence in the field or to employ and mobilize their members over a sustained period. Because of these problems, only a very limited number of local conservation NGOs have achieved significant results. In contrast, the support of large international NGOs such as the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Con- servation International and Birdlife International has helped conservation efforts in PAs in the 1990s by improving capacity building, infrastructure, and field operations. However, their involvement has generally been limited to brief periods. Following short-lived con- servation interventions by these international NGOs, governmental partners have not succeeded in becom- ing capable of maintaining the level of activities achieved earlier. This difficulty became even more pro- nounced when many international NGOs left the country suddenly in the face of the military conflicts that occurred in 2002. In view of the widespread failure of the application of classical conservation policies based on the exclu- sion of local residents from the use and management of natural resources, the concept of participatory man- agement involving local communities arose in 2000. Unfortunately, local institutions created at the commu- nity level have still not been empowered sufficiently to plan and carry out conservation measures. In fact, the governmental authorities have never trusted local communities to manage PAs, as judged by their actions, and so the involvement of such communities has remained limited. A recently passed law will allow collectives to own and manage PAs, this being an encouraging sign that could support both sustainable development and biodi- versity conservation. However, the law has not yet been applied in Côte d’Ivoire, and the associated decentrali- zation policies do not specify how the collectives will be involved. CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS Wildlife is in jeopardy in Côte d’Ivoire, amid the many signs of an impending ecological disaster. The earlier examples of government inefficiency and failed con- servation measures have worsened in the last decade as a result of the sociopolitical crisis that began in Côte d’Ivoire in 2002. The northern half of the country was then occupied by rebel forces, and considerable prospective of short-term profit no matter what might happen in the long run. This explains why agro-industries have replaced hundreds of thousands of ha of forest with plantations, without any prior environmental or social impact assessment, even though such assessments have been mandatory since 1996. The indirect economic value of wild animals is even less well perceived; this is one of the major reasons why SODEFOR has not paid the required atten- tion to the protection of wild animals in classified forests under their responsibility. Yet, considering the interdependency of fauna and flora (Clark, Poulsen and Parker, 2001), it is vital to maintain viable populations of wild animals in forest ecosystems, most notably for their importance in maintaining the health and regeneration of these ecosystems (Koné et al., 2008). INSTITUTIONAL WEAKNESS IN THE FIELD OF CONSERVATION Most of the governmental agencies in charge of biodi- versity conservation in Côte d’Ivoire are faced with a crucial lack of financial, technical, and human means. With very low annual budgets, these agencies have limited means to plan and carry out their own activities independently. Thus, it is not surprising that almost nothing can be done for the effective conservation of PAs without the support of big international non- governmental organizations and cooperation agencies. SODEFOR has tried to initiate collaborations with private logging companies by entrusting them with the expansion and implementation of long-term manage- ment of logging concessions, but so far they have obtained poor results because SODEFOR does not have the capacity to monitor the activities of these companies. In addition, most governmental conservation agen- cies complain about a lack of personnel. Even when there are enough personnel, they lack the basic equip- ment needed to be efficient, including vehicles, appro- priate arms, and ammunitions. They are also not well trained in modern techniques of forest manage- ment such as methods of bio-monitoring, use of geo- graphic information systems (GIS), and participatory approaches. Conservation NGOs face the same problem. The plethora of local NGOs is particularly ineffective because most cannot raise sufficient funds to achieve
  • 6. Africa: Wildlife in Jeopardy Inside and Outside Protected Areas in Côte d’Ivoire 31 REFERENCES Brown, G. and Henry, W. (1989) The Economic Value of Ele- phants. LEEC Discussion Paper. London Environmental Eco- nomics Centre, London, UK. Caspary, H. U. (1999) Wildlife Utilization in Côte d’Ivoire and West Africa: Potentials and Constraints for Development Coop- eration. GTZ, Eschborn, Germany. Caspary, H. U. and Momo, J. (1998) La chasse villageoise en Côte-d’Ivoire – Résultats dans le cadre de l’étude filière viande de brousse (Enquête CHASSEURS). Rapport préliminaire No. 1 pour la Direction de la Protection de la Nature et la Banque Mondiale. Abidjan. Caspary, H. U., Koné, I., Prouot, C. and De Pauw, M. (2001) La chasse et la filière viande de brousse dans l’espace Taï, Côte- d’Ivoire. Tropenbos Côte-d’Ivoire séries 2, Tropenbos Côte- d’Ivoire, Abidjan. Clark, C. J., Poulsen, J. R. and Parker, V. T. (2001) The role of arboreal seed dispersal groups on the seed rain of a lowland tropical forest. Biotropica, 33, 606–620. Conservation International (2001) De la Forêt à la Mer: les Liens de Biodiversité de la Guinée au Togo. Conservation Inter- national, Washington, D.C. Direction de la Protection de la Nature (1991) Plan de conser- vation de l’éléphant en Côte d’Ivoire. Ministère de l’Agriculture et des Ressources Animales, Abidjan. Gonedelé Bi, S., Koné, I., Béné, J-C. K., Bitty, A. E., Akpatou, B. K., Goné, B. Z., Ouattara, K. and Koffi, D. A. (2008)Tanoé forest, south-eastern Côte-d’Ivoire identified as a high prior- ity site for the conservation of critically endangered pri- mates in West Africa. Tropical Conservation Science 1, 263–276. Ibo, J. G. (1993) La politique coloniale de protection de la nature en Côte d’Ivoire de 1900 à 1958. Revue Française d’Histoire d’Outre Mer, 298, 83–104. Ibo, J. G. (2004) L’expérience post-coloniale de protection de la nature en Côte d’Ivoire: quarante-quatre ans de brico- lages et d’incertitudes. Journal des Sciences Sociales, 1, 69–89. Koné, I. and Akpatou, K. B. (2004) Identification des sites abritant encore les singes Cercopithecus diana roloway, Cer- cocebus atys lunulatus et Piliocolobus badius waldronae en Côte-d’Ivoire. Study Report for CEPA, Abidjan. Koné, I., Lambert, J. E., Refisch, J. and Bakayoko, A. (2008) Primate seed dispersal and its potential role in maintaining useful tree species in the Taï region, Côte-d’Ivoire: implica- tions for the conservation of forest fragments. Tropical Con- servation Science, 1, 291–304. Lauginie, F. (2007) Conservation de la Nature et Aires Pro- tégées en Côte d’Ivoire. NEI/Hachette et Afrique Nature, Abidjan. Mittermeier, R. A., Myers, N. and Mittermeier, C. G. (1999) Hotspots: Earth’s Biologically Richest and Most Endangered Terrestrial Ecoregions. CEMEX. damage to forest habitats (inside and outside PAs) due to illegal logging, as well as unprecedented levels of poaching, has been reported in these rebel-controlled zones. At the same time, conservation measures in the government-controlled zones have become ever more dependent on the activities of large, international NGOs and on rarely maintained international coop- eration. There was a normalization of this situation in Côte d’Ivoire involving an agreement between Presi- dent Laurent Gbagbo and the rebels, which was signed in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. This led to the forma- tion of a unified government in 2007, headed by the leader of the rebellion as prime minister. Since then, the prospect of elections in November 2010 was a source of hope for much-needed stability of the situa- tion and a true revival of development of the country, but unfortunately instead a post-electoral crisis erupted that plunged the country into an even worse disaster until April 2011, when Allassane Ouattara was finally inaugurated as the new president of Côte d’Ivoire. Today there are reasons to believe that the country has finally passed through this time of crisis while the conservation value of many of its ecosys- tems remains high. A first major action that will be critical following the crisis is an assessment of the impact of the crisis on the natural resources in differ- ent regions of the country, with a focus on previously known key biodiversity areas. Once this is completed, governmental authorities and their partners should pay particular attention to long-term conservation of biological resources while they plan the reconstruc- tion of the country and revival of its development. Future development plans must be more coherent and synergy must be established between different minis- tries and between governmental agencies of the same or different ministries. Laws must be adjusted so that empowerment of local administrative and communi- tarian institutions is more effective, in particular for the management of their natural resources. Donors must be invited to support the process, but must adhere to the principles of alignment on priorities defined by the country. To secure better commitment from all major stakeholders, national awareness cam- paigns must be organized using the media, with par- ticular attention paid to building local capacity for sustainable development. In conclusion, a radical change of mentality and behaviors at all levels will be crucial to the protection of Côte d’Ivoire’s forests and other natural habitats, and the resident wildlife con- tained therein.
  • 7. 32 Conservation Biology Monnier, Y. (1981) La Poussière et La Cendre. Paysages, Dynamique des Formations Végétales et Stratégies des Sociétés en Afrique de L’Ouest. ACCT, Paris. Oates, J. F., Abedi-Lartey, M., McGraw, W. S., Struhsaker, T. T. and Whitesides, G. H. (2000) Extinction of a West African Red Colobus monkey. Conservation Biology, 14, 1526–1532. Pfeffer, P. (1985). Elephants en sursis. Banco, 3, 5–11 Redford, K.H. (1992). The empty forest. BioScience, 42, 412–422. Refisch, J. and Koné, I. (2005) The impact of market hunting on monkey populations in theTaï region, Côte-d’Ivoire. Bio- tropica, 37, 136–144. Roth, H. H., Hoppe-Dominik, B., Mühlenberg, M., Steinhauer- Burkart, B. and Fischer, F. (2004) Distribution and status of the hippopotamids in the Ivory Coast. African Zoology, 39, 211–224. Tockman, J. (2002) Côte d’Ivoire: IMF, Cocoa, coffee, logging and mining. World Rainforest Movement’s Bulletin, 54 (January). Western, D. and Henry, W. (1979) Economics and conserva- tion in Third World national parks. BioScience, 29, 414–418. Whelan, T. (1991) L’écotourisme. Gérer l’Environnement. Nou- veaux Horizons, Paris.