d’Ivoire joins CMS as the 83rd Party on 1 July 2003.
The West African state borders the North Atlantic Ocean,
between Ghana and Liberia. Its border countries Burkina
Faso, Ghana, Guinea and Mali are already Party to CMS.
Côte d’Ivoire has ratified the following environment-related
treaties: the Convention on International Trade in Endangered
Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the Convention
on Biological Diversity (CBD), the United Nations Framework
Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the United Nations
Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), the Ramsar
Convention on Wetlands, the African Convention on the Conservation
of Nature and Natural Resources (Algiers Convention), and
the Convention for Cooperation in the Protection and Development
of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the West and Central
African Region (Abidjan Convention). Within the CMS framework,
Côte d’Ivoire is already a signatory State to
the Memorandum of Understanding concerning Conservation
Measures for Marine Turtles of the Atlantic coast of Africa.
The intergovernmental meeting, which adopted the MoU, was
actually held at Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire) in
May 1999. The MoU itself is often referred to as the Abidjan
Mostly flat to undulating plains stretch from the Gulf
of Guinea to mountains in the Northwest. A great number
of species cross the Golf of Guinea on their migration routes.
Over 70 species of migratory birds covered by CMS Appendices
are reported for the Côte d’Ivoire. Among them
the Lesser kestrel (Falco naumanni), a species
designated for concerted actions under CMS. As regards other
species than birds, Côte d’Ivoire is a Range
State to four species of marine turtles (the Leatherback
turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), the Green turtle
(Chelonia mydas), the Olive Ridley turtle (Lepidochelys
olivacea) and the Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys
imbricata). The presence of the Loggerhead turtle (Caretta
caretta) is also possible. Other marine species of
CMS concern that can be found in Côte d’Ivoire
waters include the Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae)
and the West African manatee (Trichechus senegalensis).
This latter species was listed during COP7 in September
2002. Together with its border countries Côte d’Ivoire
is also home to the African Elephant (Loxodonta africana)
listed on CMS Appendix II. The West African populations
of this biggest terrestrial mammal are classified as endangered
according to IUCN, and they are also listed on Appendix
I of CITES. The accession of Côte d’Ivoire to
CMS is expected to facilitate the establishment of protected
migratory corridors, linking various habitats of African
elephant populations in West Africa.