Ivory Coast Deforestation Illustrates A Stark Choice: Eat or Save the Forest

About 80% of Ivory Coast’s Forest Have Been Wiped By Illegal Cocoa Plantations

On Africa’s west coast, the nation of Ivory Coast has finally begun to fight back against a deforestation rate that is considered the worst in Africa. About 4/5ths of the original forest cover has been cut down since the country gained its independence in 1960, as illegal cocoa planters cut down the woodlands to set up pirate cocoa farms. With the logging came precipitous reductions in the population of elephants, chimps and other animals found in very few other locations.

What may eventually turn out to be good news for the forests has created a humanitarian crisis, as the cocoa farmers are expelled from the land they stole, but without other means of making a living. The problem is that cocoa has become the country’s leading export crop, making an illegal and destruction commercial enterprise an important keystone of a fragile economy.

So go the choices of the 21st Century.

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