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Cross-River State REDD+ Strategy and National REDD+ framework strategy for Nigeria presented including an overview of the progress of REDD+ process in Nigeria

REDD+ readiness programme in Nigeria is advancing at a steady pace with the official launch of the first sub-national level Strategy for Cross River State (CRS). To accompany the sub-national CRS Strategy is a National Framework Strategy which aims to provide the overall enabling and guiding framework for REDD+ in Nigeria, with CRS leading the interventions that aim to have impacts on the ground in forestry, agriculture, energy and land use planning including for minerals, quarrying and infrastructure development. To mobilize high-level political support for the REDD+ process, the Federal Ministry of Environment, the Government of Cross River State and with support from UNDP Nigeria and UN-REDD, organized a High-level Dialogue which took place in Abuja on 31st May 2017. The meeting was officially opened by Minister of State for Environment, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Environment, Dr. Shehu Ahmed. Other high-level officials attended among whom were Members of the Parliament, Directors of Forestry and Climate Change from the Federal Ministry of Environment, and the Hon. Commissioner of Climate Change and Forestry, Cross River State with the Chairman of the State Forestry Commission, Permanent Secretaries of Ministries of Climate Change, Agriculture, and Forestry Commission.

During the High-Level National REDD+ Dialogue on the Cross-River REDD+ Strategy and National REDD+ framework strategy for Nigeria were presented including an overview of the progress of REDD+ process in Nigeria. The strategic objectives of the REDD+ strategy process in Nigeria not only call for activities grounded in dealing with land management but also draw out the requirements needed for policies and measures that touch on institutional strengthening, clarification of State and Federal roles as well as cross sectoral planning and action to address the drivers of deforestation and the barriers to sustainable management of forests in the country in manner that will result in long term social and environmental benefits. Nigeria has also made progress towards a Safeguards Information System, and has developed principles and criteria; interpreting the Cancun Safeguards at the sub national level, and initiated the process of submission of sub-national FREL for Cross-River State. The meeting facilitated the mobilization of high level decision-makers for the implementation of REDD+ programme in Nigeria.

 

nigeria forest cross river state

 

It Is key to note that the REDD+ Strategy is also drawing from the ongoing Community-Based REDD+ (CBR+) implementation in Cross River State. For instance, Nigeria is also piloting CBR+ in Cross River State where a dozen projects are implemented in over 20 pilot communities, the results of which are already demonstrating the benefits of involving forest dependent communities in natural resource governance, especially those aimed at addressing drivers, while sustaining the productivity of communities’ livelihoods. A strategic approach of the CBR+ is to keep community level interventions intricately linked the government’s development priorities, keeping the capacity and needs of forest dependent communities in view. The partnerships that the CBR+ process is building in CRS among government, civil society, private sector and forest dependent communities can become a crucial model to build participatory governance and inclusive process as Nigeria moves to the next phase of REDD+ implementation.

Nigeria is on the path from readiness to implementation, and the next steps are to secure high level political buy-in and for investments and finance for the CRS Strategy. However, is important to have all stakeholders on board with the adequate level of ownership and commitment to implement REDD+ to ensure the contribution of REDD+ to Nigeria’s overall vision of growth and sustainable development.

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