Ivory Coast


Ivory Coast

Since its independence in 1960, Cote D’Ivoire experienced a long period of stability and economic growth thanks to the investments in the agricultural sector. However, in 1980 rapid population growth and internal migration from urban to rural areas increased the pressure on the management and distribution of natural resources, which gave rise to a series of conflicts over land. The 1999 Coup d’Etat exacerbated the situation, as conflicts and political instability spread, particularly in relation to the control of land.

The 2000 Constitution guarantees the right of property to all. In particular, since the colonial period, vacant land in Cote d’Ivoire is considered state property, while occupied land has been governed by the customary land tenure system. A decree of March 1967 confirms the customary laws regulating land, stating that land belongs to the person who makes it profitable. The Rural Land Plan of 1989 financed by the World Bank was the first attempt for the establishment of a secure system of land tenure through a survey identifying land rights and land use, the establishment of plots’ limits and the introduction of new methods for land registration. In 1998, the Rural Land Law was passed with the aim of transforming customary land rights into private property rights regulated by the state. The law did not reach its scope, as the vast majority of rural land in the country is still governed by customary practices.

Conflicts and violence in Cote d’Ivoire have been strongly related to land. When the economy started to slow down, people began migrating from urban to rural areas where migrants from different countries and cultures had moved to cultivate the land. This gave rise to land disputes, which are generally mediated by the heads of the villages, who are widely respected among people and they have proved to be more effective than the formal mechanisms of land disputes resolution envisaged by the rural Land Law. 

Source of the narrative

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Land Governance Assessment Framework (LGAF)

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    • Very Good Practice
    • Good Practice
    • Weak Practice
    • Very Weak Practice
    • Missing Value

    Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure

    Legend: National laws adoption of the VGGT principle
    • Fully adopt
    • Partially adopt
    • Not adopted
    • Missing Value

    Note: The Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries, and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (The VGGTs) were endorsed by the Committee on World Food Security in 2012.

    The "VGGT indicators" dataset has been created by Nicholas K. Tagliarino, PhD Candidate at the University of Groningen, with support from Daniel Babare and Myat Noe (LLB Students, University of Groningen). The indicators assess national laws in 50 countries across Asia, Africa, and Latin America against international standards on expropriation, compensation, and resettlement as established by Section 16 of the VGGTs.

    Each indicator relates to a principle established in section 16 of the VGGTs. Hold the mouse against the small "i" button above for a more detailed explanation of the indicator.

    Answering the questions posed by these indicators entails analyzing a broad range of national-level laws, including national constitutions, land acquisition acts, land acts, community land acts, agricultural land acts, land use regulations, and some court decisions.


    Latest News

    Ivory Coast

    By: Joe Bavier

    Date: 19 September 2016

    Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation 

    Rights groups have accused Ivory Coast authorities of failing to provide a minimum level of support when they evicted tens of thousands of illegal cocoa farmers from a national park, leaving them vulnerable and putting pressure on local communities.

    The government rejected the criticism on Friday.

    Ivory Coast
    United States of America

    By: Chris Arsenault
    Date: September 1st 2016
    Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation

    RIO DE JANEIRO (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Countries will be unable to meet their climate change pledges unless they secure land rights for people living in the world's tropical forests, indigenous leaders told an international conference of regional governors meeting in Mexico.


    Union Economique et Monétaire Ouest Africaine



    Displaying 1 - 6 of 59
    Land Conflict and Food Security in the Liberian-Ivoirian Border Region cover image
    Reports & Research
    December 2012

    This thematic report is the fifth in a series on housing, land and property rights, and tenure, and land conflict in Liberia. It examines land tenure and conflict from a Liberia/Cote d’Ivoire cross-border perspective within the context of forced displacement caused by the 2010 post-election crisis.

    Journal Articles & Books
    March 2017

    Date: juin 2017

    Source: Foncier & Développement 

    Ce dossier sur le renouvellement des formes et des enjeux de l’accès à la terre agricole au Sud rassemble des contributions présentées lors du colloque SFER « Le foncier agricole : usages, tensions et régulations », qui s’est tenu à Lyon les 11 et 12 juin 2014.

    Reports & Research
    November 2009

    Armed conflict broke out in Côte d’Ivoire in 2002, which caused the country to be divided in two: the north under the control of the Forces Nouvelles rebels and the south in the hands of the government. It also caused the mass displacement of hundreds of thousands of people. In the west of the country, and in particular in the two regions of Moyen Cavally and Dix-Huit Montagnes, the crisis provoked a series of successive displacements involving population groups with competing claims over land.

    Journal Articles & Books
    December 1984

    This report presents the results of an exercise to model forest industry development in Liberia. It presents background information about Liberia and the forestry sector, then discusses the trends and projections in forest cover and production and trade of forest products. It suggests that forest resources will not be able to meet future demand for wood and recommends that forest plantations should be planted to meet this demand.

    Reports & Research
    December 2001

    La présente publication «Situation des ressources génétiques forestières de la Côte d'Ivoire (Zone de Savanes)» est issue d’un rapport national présenté à l’Atelier sous-régional FAO/IPGRI/CIRAF sur la conservation, la gestion, l’utilisation durable et la mise en valeur des ressources génétiques forestières de la zone sahélienne (Ouagadougou, 22-24 sept. 1998).

    Journal Articles & Books
    December 2012