Most of the forests in Côte d'Ivoire are severely damaged or are in the early stages of secondary growth, with the exception of protected forest areas (national parks, nature reserves) and some classified forests.
The results of Côte d'Ivoire's recent National Forest and Wildlife Inventory (IFFN - Inventaire Forestier et Faunique National) indicate a national forest area of 2.97 million ha. This figure consists of:
- 558,030 ha of classified forests managed by the SODEFOR
- 674,500 ha of protected areas managed by the OIPR
- 1,740,300 ha of rural forests managed by the MINEF
Over the past century, forest cover in Côte d'Ivoire has declined from about 16 million hectares to less than three million hectares, with only about 517,000 hectares of primary forest remaining. This deforestation is mainly due to the conversion of the forest to agriculture, some of which is illegal. Nevertheless, the forests still contribute greatly to Côte d'Ivoire's economy, and provide jobs and livelihood to the local populations. Most of the industrial timber production is for the export market. (BNETD 2015).