Photo: UNEP
24 Oct 2022 Video Nature Action

Côte d’Ivoire pushes to protect sprawling urban park

Photo: UNEP

Banco National Park in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, is much more than just a pocket of green. It is a sprawling nationally protected park that is 10 times the size of New York City’s Central Park – and yet is completely ensconced by the hustle and bustle of Abidjan, a city of 5 million.

Outside of the many human visitors who enjoy this park and all the benefits it provides, Banco is home to almost 100 rare or endangered species, some of which can’t be found anywhere outside of Côte d’Ivoire.

Now, city residents are learning about the value of this park, which also provides a host of jobs, through a project supported by the United Nations Environment Programme and funded by the Global Environment Facility.

On a recent visit to the park, the Global Environment Facility’s CEO, Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, learned about efforts to conserve endangered species and allow the park’s unique ecosystems to thrive while also creating new employment opportunities for people living nearby.

“Here we’ve got this unique tropical ecosystem right next to a large urban area. Protecting biodiversity is important not just for the sake of this ecosystem but also this is a very valuable green area right next to Abidjan,” said Rodriguez.

Find out more in the video below.

Protecting the planet’s precious biodiversity just makes sense for everyone: environmentally, economically, socially and politically. United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is working with the Global Environment Facility to provide countries with the scientific foundations, policy expertise and innovation needed to best conserve, restore and benefit from their biodiversity. For more information about the Banco National Park project or UNEP’s wider work in landscape restoration and biodiversity conservation, please contact Learn more about our GEF-supported work in Biodiversity here.