(Bloomberg) -- Ivory Coast is seeking to lure private-sector investment into the top cocoa producer’s $1.5 billion drive to restore degraded forests and increase food production. 

The five-year plan, known as the Abidjan Initiative, is part of a long-term strategy to tackle the effects of climate change on its natural resources and agricultural, President Alassane Ouattara said at the start of a United Nations environment conference.

“The impact of climate change on land degradation in Ivory Coast is acute,” he said in Abidjan, the West African nation’s commercial capital, on Monday. “Desertification and drought affect 60% of our territory and as much as 90% in the northern parts, disrupting agricultural and agro-industrial sectors. These scourges also threaten our health and security, and in the long-term, peace.” 

Ivory Coast and neighboring Ghana supply about two-thirds of the world’s cocoa, used to make chocolate. Farming made up about 20% of its gross domestic product in 2020, according to World Bank data. 

Despite a commitment to decouple agricultural production from deforestation and restore forest coverage to 20% of its territory by 2030, spatial data suggests Ivory Coast continues to lose a large chunk of its forests every year. 

“It is now necessary to go further and mobilize new partners, namely private sector companies, involved in the value chains of agricultural products,” Ouattara said. 

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