Côte d’Ivoire, once a beacon of economic prosperity and political stability, has been wracked by conflict and volatility in recent years following a 2002 civil war and a 2010 post-election crisis when the incumbent president refused to accept defeat, leading to months of violence and unrest.

Today this West African nation – with the highest level of biodiversity in the region, vast mineral deposits and significant revenue from cocoa exports - is seeking to establish a roadmap for peacebuilding and economic recovery. Within this framework it aims to address environmental and natural resource governance on a national scale and as a precondition for sustainable development and conflict prevention.

Consequently the Government of Côte d’Ivoire, through its Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, has requested that UNEP undertake a Post-Conflict Environmental Assessment (PCEA) in order to carry out systematic and quantitative analyses of the environment and natural resources based on remote sensing, environmental sampling and institutional assessment.

UNEP will also examine the links between natural resources and conflict, including both historical connections and potential links in the future. UNEP aims to identify how to transform the management of natural resources into peacebuilding and sustainable development opportunities without creating new sources of tension or impacting the environment.

Climate change, other disaster risks and gender will also be evaluated by UNEP as cross-cutting themes. 

This integrated assessment approach will assist the Government of Côte d’Ivoire, international institutions, NGOs and civil society organisations to direct their resources in a way which will directly support conflict prevention and disaster risk reduction.

The UN-EU Partnership on Natural Resources and Conflict Prevention has identified Côte d’Ivoire as a candidate country for receiving technical assistance, therefore the PCEA will also be used to identify the core areas requiring technical support from this initiative.

The results – to be published late 2014 – will include:

1. PCEA – This will present the current status of the environment in Côte d’Ivoire in key sectors and include recommendations for practical, institutional and legal responses.

2. Opportunity and risk analysis of land, natural resources and the urban environment, which will identify: a. peacebuilding opportunities from natural resource exploitation, b. peacebuilding opportunities from coastal and urban environment management and c. potential social and environmental risks.
Within this framework UNEP will also conduct an assessment of the impact of the recent conflict in terms of economic, health and livelihood dependency on the environment and natural resources, and also assess how natural resources were involved in the outbreak, financing and fuelling of the conflicts.

3. A series of maps illustrating land cover and land use for forestry, agricultural, urban, coastal and lagoon areas.

For previous PCEAs carried out by UNEP please go here.

For further information on UNEP's work in Côte d'Ivoire please contact Muralee Thumarukudy,  at muralee.thummarukudy@unep.org or David Jensen at david.jensen@unep.org.