The press conference to mark completion of the IFFN data-gathering phase took place on Thursday 22 April at the Ministry for Water and Forests (MINEF). It was attended by Colonel-Major Mé Kouamé Martial, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Ivory Coast Ministry for Water and Forests, Pascal Cuny representing the prime contractor ONF International (ONFI), Colonel Niagne Albert-Yves Lasme, head of the IFFN-CORENA component, and representatives of the Ivorian operator-technicians involved in the project (SODEFOR, ANADER, OIPR).
The results of the IFFN, which will be announced at the end of June 2021, are eagerly anticipated (the previous forest inventory dates back to 1979). In terms of forest cover this new inventory will make it possible, for example, to establish which tree species are found in the country and the diameter for each species, facilitating a very accurate assessment of Ivory Coast’s production potential and the ability of the forests to regenerate in the years to come.
In terms of wildlife, the IFFN will also provide a very accurate picture. The gradual disappearance of elephants is of course especially noticeable because there are now fewer than 1,000 individuals in Ivory Coast, but it should be remembered that over 200 other species are now on the verge of extinction. In addition, wildlife habitats have become so degraded that conflicts between humans and wild animals are likely to become more and more common, impacting on agriculture and leading to accidents and damage.
The IFFN is thus an ideal planning tool that fits into a broader programme of action for managing the country’s natural resources. Comprehensive action is clearly required, for example by exerting more pressure and control on illegal activities such as poaching and small-scale gold mining, or by regulating human activity in classified forests according to how badly they are degraded.
The press conference was also an opportunity to draw attention to the exceptional nature of this project, beginning with its stated ambitions. Other countries, particularly in Africa, have also carried out national inventories. Mali and Burkina Faso have done so for their forests, for example, while Liberia and Sierra Leone have done so for wildlife, but until now no other country has undertaken an inventory with three components (wildlife, forests and socio-economic aspects) at a national level and within such a short time frame. Carrying out the IFFN in just over 2 years represented a major challenge from a technical and human standpoint but also in terms of logistics: 25 vehicles and 32 teams were needed to carry out the inventories.
Despite the difficulties that are inherent to such an ambitious project the IFFN is well on the way to being completed, thanks in large part to effective co-ordination at national level and constant communication between the various players (contracting authority, prime contractor and operators-technicians). All the data gathered are now being processed, and a date has been set at the end of June to unveil the final results of the inventory and plan for what follows, with a permanent organisation to be set up.
About the IFFN
The contracting authority for the IFFN is the Ministry of Water and Forests (MINEF). The prime contractor is an international consortium comprising ONF International, ONF Ivory Coast, IGN France and IGN FI. Implementation at national level has been carried out by SODEFOR, ANADER, and OIPR.
Niagne Albert-Yves Lasme – MINEF, head of the C2D/CORENA/MINEF/IFFN component
firstname.lastname@example.org – + 225 07 07 08 83 62 / 01 03 33 33 81
Pascal Cuny – ONFI, principal technical advisor for the IFFN project
email@example.com, 07 87 24 48 91