World Bank extends $3.8m forest carbon facility to Nasarawa, Ondo

By Chinedum Uwaegbulam   |   29 May 2017   |   3:41 am  

Nigerian forest cover has been on constant decline owing to deforestation

With Nigeria losing about 3.5 per cent of its forest yearly, which is between 350,000 and 400,000 hectares of forestland, the World Bank has been extended Nigeria Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) Readiness Programme to Nasarawa and Ondo States.

The programme by the United Nations REDD Programme and the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) has the World Bank as an implementing partner and main vehicle for REDD+ readiness in the country, with an initial priority focus in Cross River State.

Under the  $3.8 million FCPF support, the success story is being replicated in two other states of Nasarawa and Ondo. The goal of the programme is to enable Nigeria to contribute to climate change mitigation through improved forest conservation and enhancing sustainable community livelihoods.

The programme supports Nigeria to contribute to climate-change mitigation in the forest sector, with initial work in Cross River State, which has a track record in community forest management and an engagement in forest conservation, aside from having a relatively high forest cover.

Recently, a two-day Mid Term Review (MTR) workshop was held in Nasarawa organised by the Federal Ministry of Environment and World Bank, where Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura reiterated that Nigeria is making efforts through afforestation and re-afforestation programmes to tackle issues of global warming and climate change, adding that “a protected eco-system offers multifarious advantages to the human society.”

He disclosed that three forest sites, namely Obi forest in Obi Council area, Marhai forest in Wamba council and Zono forest in Toto Local Government Area are ready for the REDD+ programme intervention. “We have also paid the State counterpart contribution and provided an office complex in Karu to house both Nasarawa State REDD+ and the NEWMAP offices,” he said.

Al-Makura assured of the continued support of the State government to facilitate the realisation of protecting the environment to ensure the sustenance of fauna and flora.

The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Environment, Dr. Shehu Ahmed, represented by Dr. Elizabeth Ebiwele, expressed concern about the growing rate of deforestation in the country and assured of the commitment of government to environmental sustainability.

He acknowledged and appreciated the World Bank and other development partners for the support given to Nigeria from the inception of the REDD+ programme. “ We must all embrace interventions that will help reverse the rate of deforestation of which REDD+programme is one and very pivotal in contributing to the country’s Nationally Determined Contributions to the Paris agreement,” he added.

The Senior Environmental Specialist of the World Bank, Dr Amos Abu explained that the objective of the programme is to build the REDD+ mechanism in the country, using Cross River State as a demonstration model and the task of the FPCF is to support Nigeria design a socially and environmentally sound strategy.

Abu explained that the programme is in three phases and four components. The phases are REDD+ readiness, investments in forestry and related sectors and emission reductions payments while the components are strengthening national and state level readiness management arrangements.

Other aspects include developing REDD+ and conduct Strategic Environmental and Social Assessment (SESA); developing reference emission level; and enhancing stakeholder engagement, communication, consultation and feedback for REDD+ readiness process.

According to him, the aim of the MTR is to support the REDD+ Secretariat in preparation of the mid-term progress report. “This is a milestone in FCPF readiness preparation and a requirement of the grant agreement. It will also be the first comprehensive report on Nigeria’s progress towards REDD+ readiness, but will focus on stock taking and assessing progress as well as planning and scheduling the remaining activities in order to achieve REDD+ readiness at project completion.”



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