Environment: The state and Cargill commit to the restoration of the Dassioko classified forest

Minister Richard Donwahi (left) and Lionel Soulard, Cargill West Africa Managing Director, expressed their satisfaction at signing the memorandum of understanding. (Dr Image)

The Ministry of Water and Forests and the Cargill company are committed to the conservation and restoration of the classified forests of Dassioko in the town of Fresco. This wish materialized with the signing of a memorandum of understanding on April 8, in Plateau, between Minister Richard Donwahi and Lionel Soulard, General Manager of Cargill in West Africa. This protocol aims to ensure the promotion of the sustainable development of cocoa cultivation in the riparian areas of said forest. In fact, this act confirms the company’s commitment to work closely with the Ministry in the implementation of the Forest Management Plan. This Plan provides for a community development component for people living near the Dassioko classified forest. In addition, activities such as digital bean tracking and satellite monitoring solutions will be used to identify and prevent deforestation risks. “The association is important for the national forestry strategy. Only by working in synergy with the various stakeholders can we achieve a harmonious and sustainable development of our forest ecosystems while further developing the sustainable cultivation of cocoa, one of the most important agribusinesses for the country, explained Minister Richard Donwahi. For his part, Lionel Soulard said that this alliance will accelerate joint efforts to eliminate cocoa-related deforestation. “It complements the work we are doing under the Cocoa & Forests initiative and contributes to Côte d’Ivoire’s national forestry strategy,” he said. Lionel Soulard emphasized that his company is committed to working on solutions to support the livelihoods of cocoa farmers, while protecting forests. In addition, he indicated that this commitment is also in line with the various programs implemented in recent years by the company as part of the Cocoa and Forests Initiative, such as mapping at the farm level, agroforestry and conservation.

Note that the Dassioko Classified Forest is home to the last coastal tropical forest in the country. It is also a refuge for the last wild elephants in the region.

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