According to the FAO (2015) Ivory Coast has around 10.4 million hectares of forested land, which constitutes to 32.7% of the total land area. Around 10.0 million hectares are primary or otherwise naturally regenerated forest, and around 427 thousand hectares are planted forest. 98.9% of the forest area is publicly owned and the remainder is privately owned. Three different ecological zones can be distinguished in Ivory Coast:
- In the North the domaine soudanais, which can be characterised as extensive savannah;
- In the centre a transition zone with mainly semi-deciduous forests; and
- In the South humid evergreen forests.
Most forests of Ivory Coast are severely degraded or are at an early stage of secondary growth, except a number of effectively protected areas. The protected areas of the country include 8 national parks, of which the Taï and Comoé national parks account together for almost 1,5 million hectares. The so-called forêts classes are forests designated as permanent forest estate zoned for production and protection. These classified forests are managed by SODEFOR. Outside the permanent forest estates, in the rural forest domain, are the forest harvesting areas (périmètres d’exploitation forestière - PEFs) located, which account for the vast majority of the country’s timber production. These PEFs are managed by private concession holders.
Production and export
According to ITTO (2017) the industry of Ivory Coast produced in 2015 about 2.5 million m3 of logs, which was primarily used in the domestic industry. Only logs from plantations are allowed to be exported. Exports of the country's timber industry rely primarily on the exports of primary timber products, which accounted for a total export value of 218.4 million US dollars in 2015.
The forests of Ivory Coast contain many species, but the most valuable species are (ITTO, 2011):
- Fromager (Ceiba pentandra)
- Samba, Ayous (Triplochiton scleroxylon)
- Fraké (Terminalia superba)
- Iroko (Milicia excelsa, Milicia regia)
- African mahogany, Khaya (Khaya ivorensis, Khaya anthotheca)
- Framiré (Terminalia ivorensis)
- Kossipo (Entandrophragma candollei)
- Mansonia, Beté (Mansonia altissima)
- Tiama (Entandrophragma angolense)
- Dibetou (Lovoa trichilioides)
- Bossé (Guarea spp.)
- Danta, Kotibé (Nesogordonia spp.)
- Koto (Pterygota macrocarpa)
- Aiélé (Canarium schweinfurthii)
- Makoré (Tieghemella heckelii)
- Ilomba (Pycnanthus kombo)
- Lingué (Afzelia africana)
- Azobé (Lophira alata)
- Niangon (Heritiera spp.)
- Teak (Tectona grandis) from plantations
Ivory Coast has engaged in reforestation to increase the presence of teak (Tectona grandis), framiré (Terminalia ivorensis) and gmelina (Gmelina arborea), although many other species are also planted such as Spanish cedar (Cedrela odorata).
The forest industry of the country is composed of several hundred small processing units, and there are only a few big enterprises. A large part of the industry is foreign owned. Typically, wood is transported from the regions in which it grows to the port of Abidjan in the East, where the vast bulk of wood-based manufacturing takes place, or to the port of San Pedro in the West. The main products exported from Ivory Coast are flooring, logs from planted forests, mouldings, particle boards, plywood, sawn wood, and veneer. In the graph below the relevant export markets for timber products from Ivory Coast are displayed.
Sources of information
- EU FLEGT Facility
- FAO Global Forest Resources Assessment 2015
- Fordaq - timber trade network
- ITTO (2011) Status of tropical forest management 2011 - Côte d’Ivoire
- ITTO (2015) Biennial review and assessment of the world timber situation 2013-2014.
- ITC (International Trade Centre) calculations based on UN Comtrade statistics
- World Port Source - Map of ports in Ivory Coast
There are two common harvesting licenses in Ivory Coast: (1) Partnership agreements for the Fôrest classes; and (2) the Périmètres d’exploitation, which is the most common harvesting license for private concession holders and which applies for rural areas.
Périmètres (concessions) are initially issued by means of an Autorisation provisoire d’exploiter le périmetre. For subsequent years an Autorisation de reprise d’activité annuel is issued, and payment of the various taxes is a prerequisite to obtain this authorisation. These taxes include: (1) Taxes Interêts Général – TIG; (2) Taxe d’Attribution et Superficie – TAS; and (3) Taxe d’abbattage.
Authorisation is given based on the approval of a Cahier des charges, which is a file submitted to the Ministère des Eaux et Forêts (Ministry of Water and Forests) containing among others:
- a Proces verbal de rafraichissement des limites du périmètre, issued by the Ministère des Eaux et Forêts. This is a confirmation that the boundaries of the concession are visible and well-maintained.
- a Croquis et coordonnées cartésiennes levées de GPS, issued by the Ministère de Agriculture et des resources
- an Attestation de reboisement, issued by the Direction du Reboisement et de Cadastre Forestier, and confirming that the company realised the required compensatory reforestation.
- Forest survey (Prospection)
The annual authorisation specifies the annual allowable cut (AAC) for the concession. The holder of the concession purchases a Carnet de périmètre from the Direction de la Production et des Forestières à Abidjan (DPIF), in which the harvested logs are registered with their unique numbers and other details. For each species the minimum harvestable diameter has been published by the DPIF. Each felled tree receives a unique number, which will follow the log until its final destination. The log and the stump are marked with the registered logger’s hammer mark (Marteau de Périmètre), the number of the concession and the unique log number and where applicable the log section identifier. In addition to the Carnet de Périmètre the company completes also an État B, which is a report of the monthly extraction per périmètre.
For the transport of logs from the forest to the sawmill a Bordereau de Route Homologue - BRH ‘Circulation des bois en grumes’ is prepared, which need to correspond with the details in the Carnet de périmètre. This transport document needs to be of the specified format obtained from the DPIF, and will be produced in 6-fold for the relevant parties as identified on the document: (1) buyer; (2) owner périmètre; (3) transporter; (4) forestry office; (5) DPIF Abidjan; and (6) remains in carnet.
The daily entries of the logs at the sawmill are registered in a Livre Journal des Entrées - LJE, which need to correspond with the details on the BRH. In addition to the LJE the company completes also an État E, which is a report of the monthly arrivals of logs.extraction per périmètre used to determine the amount of tax to be paid for the harvested volume.
The monthly sawmill production is recorded on a Fiche de Production following the specified format obtained from the DPIF. In addition to the Fiche de Production also the État G1 is completed and submitted to the authorities with the monthly sawmill production. For exports a Déclaration Mensuelle des Ventes de débités à l’export (DMV) is completed listing the monthly exports, while for monthly local sales the État H is used. Further processing is reported on the Déclaration Mensuelle de Production autre que sciage / déroulage / tranchage (DMP).
The below listed key documents are based on the applicable legislation and are considered to play a key role in demonstrating legal origin.
Processing and Trade
Bans and quota
Ivory Coast has an export ban for logs from natural forests and has export quota for fresh wood. Additionally, there is an export ban for small diameter wood of the genus Pterocarpus spp. (e.g. Padouk, Kosso, bois de Vêne).
Cites and protected species
There is one tree species listed on CITES Appendix II from Ivory Coast, which is Afrormosia / Assamela (Pericopsis elata). The trade of this species from Ivory Coast has been suspended by the country’s government.
National action on timber legality
Ivory Coast is negotiating a VPA with the EU, and negotiations started in February 2013 and are still in progress.
Third party certification
Ivory Coast currently has approximately 1 million hectares of forests which are certified under the OLB-scheme of Bureau Veritas. OLB stands for Origine et Légalité des Bois, which may be translated as Timber Origin and Legality. No observations of other certification initiatives have been made.
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Source: Transparancy International