REDD+, others move to salvage Cross River forest
A non-governmental organization, Wise Administration of Terrestrial Environment (WATER) has organised an “institutional capacity building workshop to check the massive degrading of rainforest in Cross River state.
The event funded by the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) through the Kenyan based Mainyoito Pastoralist Integrated Development Organisation (MPIDO), was meant to x-ray the participation of communities in REDD+ and to seek ways of improve the processes leading to meaningful participation in forest preservation.
WATER Programme Coordinator, Chief Edwin Ogar said the capacity training programme with participants drawn from different communities and organisations in the state, was aimed at identifying the gaps in terms of government, Private sector and NGOs working together with communities. The programme , he stressed was also meant to identify ways to improve the collaboration as forest communities in the state are still far from what is obtainable elsewhere in the world in terms of participation by local communities in development and forest management.
Ogar said only one community is doing something unique to protect her forest with support from outside while the rest of the communities are lagging far behind.
According to him, unknown timber merchants for some time are entering the forests in Boki and Akamkpa axis and tearing away the Afi River Forest Reserve (ARFR) in Abo Ogbagante village which is an important corridor linking the Afi Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary to the Mbe Mountains and the Okwango Division of Cross River National Park.
The capacity training programme, he said is basically is to enable the participants identify those gaps and proffer solutions so that we send those information for WATER partners to use as a tool to ensure that things are done properly here in Nigeria” in terms of forest protection.
Delivering a lecture at the training programme, the Engagement and management Specialist for Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) in Cross River state, Mr. Tony Attah said REDD+ is disturbed with the alarming rate of deforestation following the introduction of forest moratorium in the state.
He stressed that over 140,000 hectares of forest were lost between 2007 and 2014, hence REDD+ readiness to sign in the state and stakeholders strategy developed to safeguard the forest level emission and measurement reporting for verification with over $800,000 put into it.
As a follow up, Attah stated that over $300,000 will be released by REDD+ to develop an investment plan by ensuring that there is effective participation in forest protection and development of community based projects between now and 2020.