Scaling up Climate Ambition on Land Use and Agriculture through Nationally Determined Contributions and National Adaptation Plans (SCALA) 

Côte d'Ivoire
Cote d
Country overview

Côte d’Ivoire is located in West Africa along the Gulf of Guinea, with the Atlantic Ocean running along its southern coast. As one of the top world exporters of cocoa, palm oil, banana and cashews, and with two-third of its actively working population employed by the agriculture sectors, Côte d’Ivoire is vulnerable to variations in weather and climate, as well as external shocks in its export trade. Côte d’Ivoire has the second largest economy in West Africa. High rainfall in the south fuels a fertile agricultural industry, which contributes to 27 percent of the country’s GDP. A heavy economic reliance on agriculture, in addition to continued environmental degradation, rising temperature, prolonged dry season and deforestation all contribute to the country’s vulnerability to climate change. In addition, agriculture contributes 12 percent of total GHG emissions, with livestock contributing the largest proportion of that (63 percent).

Côte d’Ivoire's climate change plans and priorities

Côte d’Ivoire ratified the Paris Agreement in 2016 and submitted its first NDC the same year. The NDC intends to reconcile development with a reduction in GHG emissions. Due to the country’s vulnerability to climate change impacts, especially in the key agricultural exports sector, adaptation is also a priority.

The revision of the NDC is ongoing, and the NAP process has been underway in Côte d’Ivoire since 2015. Adaptation planning is crucial in 11 identified priority sectors that are most vulnerable to climate change, including agriculture, fisheries, forestry, land use, and gender as a cross-cutting theme. The second generation National Agricultural Investment Program 2017-2025 aims to increase the added value of agricultural products; strengthen agricultural production systems that are respectful of the environment; and promote inclusive growth.

Along with the ongoing NDC submission, Côte d'Ivoire has several climate plans and policies in place, such as the National Strategy for Climate-Smart Agriculture 2018-25, National Strategic Plan for the Development of Livestock, Fisheries and Aquaculture 2014-20 and National Strategy for Forest Conservation, Rehabilitation and Extension, to build resilience and reduce GHG across key sectors.

Overcoming barriers in the implementation of climate plans

Côte d'Ivoire has made considerable efforts to mainstream adaptation and mitigation priorities into its national development plans. However, there are different barriers at the institutional level impeding the achievement of adaptation goals, such as the absence of regulations governing the coordination of actions to combat climate change and the lack of cooperation between national and subnational levels. As for mitigation goals, the absence of an intersectoral coordination mechanism for the NDCs and the lack of a monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) framework are considered the main barriers. Regarding technical resources and knowledge, the limited availability of adequate and evidence-based information, inconsistency of existing data and insufficient research conducted on emission factors are considered as important constraints. Moreover, financial barriers are also viewed as considerable obstacles to achieving climate targets; for instance, unavailability of a specific resource mobilization strategy for climate change adaptation, insufficient levels of financial resources mobilized for mitigation, both internally and externally, and difficulties in accessing climate finance from external mechanisms. Lastly, there is low private sector awareness on climate risk assessments and investments in adaptation measures.

SCALA in action

In Côte d’Ivoire, cocoa was initially identified as the value chain with the greatest transformative potential by the SCALA programme. However, after extensive discussions with stakeholders, the focus shifted to value chains that complement cocoa production. The cashew and cassava value chains were therefore selected through multifactorial analyses, taking into account NDC compliance, mitigation and adaptation potential, gender inclusiveness, and complementarity with cocoa cropping. In line with NDC priorities, these value chains have the potential not only to reduce the climate change impacts of cocoa production but also to build the resilience of the population through alternative livelihoods and crop diversification. Future work will include in-depth systems-level assessments of the cashew and cassava value chains, exploring the options for transformative climate actions, and identifying opportunities for private sector investment.   

SCALA also contributed to the preparation of the country’s NAP – validated on 24 November 2023 – organizing a multisectoral workshop to pre-validate adaptation options for the agriculture and land-use sector in the NAP, including private sector engagement.   

An in-depth assessment of existing monitoring and evaluation (M&E) and monitoring, reporting, and verifying (MRV) systems for the NDC was also completed to identify technical and institutional gaps and corresponding needs.  This will help to clarify the institutional processes needed for a more efficient MRV system and to leverage synergies with other initiatives and actors. A roadmap for the next steps and the involvement of SCALA has also been developed.  

*Infographic also available in French/L'infographie est aussi disponible en Français.

Moving forward – 2024 and beyond 

Moving forward, SCALA in Côte d’Ivoire aims to:  

  • Conduct an in-depth assessment of the cassava value chain to identify investment opportunities and barriers to adopting climate-resilient practices on a large scale, while applying a gender lens.  
  • Organize two workshops to inform private sector actors in the cashew and cassava value chains about opportunities to contribute to the implementation of the NDC and NAP in their sectors. 
  • Undertake a market analysis of “Vulnerability Reduction Credits” (VRCs), an innovative financing tool that may be of interest to both public and private sector actors willing to invest in impact financing for environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance.