Cte dIvoire

LOCATED IN wEST Africa, the former French colony of Côte d'Ivoire (formerly known as the Ivory Coast) has a land area of 124,502 sq. mi. (322,460 sq. km.), with a population of 17,654,843 (2006 est.), and a population density of 145 people per sq. mi. (56 people per sq. km.). Over 26 percent of the country is forested, much of it equatorial rainforest, with an extensive timber industry. Arable land accounts for only 8 percent of the country, with a significant amount used for the production of coffee. Forty-one percent of the land is used for meadows and pasture, mainly low-intensity grazing of cattle, sheep, and goats.

The country generates 75.4 percent of its electricity production from fossil fuels, with the remainder from hydropower. Because of low electricity use in the country, per capita carbon dioxide emissions are also low, at 0.4 metric tons per person in 1990, falling to 0.32 metric tons per person by 2003. Some 98 percent of these emissions come from the use of liquid fuels, with the remainder from cement manufacturing.

The generation of electricity accounts for 48 percent of emissions, with 21 percent from transportation. The high use of liquid fuels is due to the poor public transport infrastructure. The one train route in the country connects Abidjan, the capital of Côte d'Ivoire, with Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso. It is notoriously inefficient, leading most people to use private bus companies to make the journey. Côte d'Ivoire makes up 1.3 percent of the carbon monoxide emissions in sub-Saharan Africa.

The government of longtime president Félix Houphouët-Boigny took part in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change signed in Rio de Janeiro in May 1992, and ratified the Vienna Convention in the following year. Côte d'Ivoire was the 169th country to agree to the Kyoto Protocol to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, which took place on April 23, 2007.

See ALSO: Forests; Transportation.

BIBLIOGRApHY. J.M. Kowal and A.H. Kassam, Agricultural Ecology of Savanna: A Study of West Africa (Clarendon Press, 1978); World Resources Institute, "Côte d'Ivoire— Climate and Atmosphere," www.earthtrends.wri.org (cited October 2007).

Robin Corfield Independent Scholar

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