Côte d'Ivoire: New forest enforcement agency shows its teeth
Officials in Côte d'Ivoire have seized one of the country’s largest ever hauls of illegal timber, following an inspection by a new enforcement agency set up in April 2016. The seizure, and the enforced closure of the company involved, mark a shift in Côte d'Ivoire’s response to illegal logging.
The new Special Intervention Unit of the Ministry of Water and Forests found the logs during an inspection of premises of Thanry, a France-based company with long-established logging operations in Côte d'Ivoire.
The Minister for Water and Forests, Louis-Andre Dacoury-Tabley, ordered the company to close until investigations into the extent of the fraud can take place. Since taking charge of the ministry in January, Dacoury-Tabley has pledged to tackle fraud, corruption and illegal logging.
The Ministry has intensified its efforts to seize illegal timber and make arrests, and provides further examples of recent actions on its website. It says illegal logging costs Côte d'Ivoire more than 22 billion FCFA (EUR 33.5 million) each year.
On 22 April 2016, Côte d’Ivoire’s state-owned forest management corporation SODEFOR signed a new contract with the Wild Chimpanzee Foundation, extending the organisation’s mandate to act as independent forest observers.Source: Ministry for Water and Forests