Forestry department partners charcoal exporters to increase reforestation

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The Federal Department of Forestry, Federal Ministry of Environment says it has partnered with the Association of Charcoal Exporters of Nigeria to increase reforestation in the country.

Andrew Adejoh, the Director, Federal Department of Forestry, made this known in Abuja.

Adejoh said the department was partnering with the charcoal association to establish at least 50 hectares of forest sites in four states in the country.

He said the states include Oyo , Kogi state, Niger state, Kwara state.

“For the department in terms of partnership with private sector, we have a partnership with the Association of Charcoal Exporters of Nigeria because they use wood for charcoal, they are seen to be contributing to deforestation.

“But we have an arrangement whereby rather than be seen to be involved in deforestation, they are adding to reforestation efforts because they are planting trees in specific arrears.

“They have a number of tree plots in Kwara, Oyo, Kogi and Niger states.

“So we are partnering with them to establish at least 50 hectares in each of the states and they have done the survey in these four states and they are eager to move ahead.“

The director said that the department had also partnered with the Tropical Woods Exporters Association of Nigeria as well as the Processed Woods Producers and Marketers Association of Nigeria.

He said the department’s partnership with the two associations also included the establishing of plantations in different parts of the country and they had started in Ogun and Adamawa states.

Adejoh said in terms of direct support in-country by donor agencies, the department was getting some support from the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), through the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility.

He said the FAO was supporting the department of forestry in developing what was called “Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Land Degradation (REDD+).

“What that has helped us develop is what we call Forest Reference Emission Levels; it tells you your level of emission as a result of activities in your forestry sector.

“We did it in Cross River and it has been extended to the national. So we now have a national forest inventory index that will produce samples that will be published by the FAO in the next couple of weeks.’’

Local support

He disclosed that through its collaboration with the Abidjan Convention, a Nigeria city was for the first time named after a convention known as “the Calabar Protocol.’’

He said that it was an additional protocol on sustainable management of the mangroves.

“In the next few days, we will be getting instruments from the Abidjan Convention and we will be handing over to the Cross River state government.

“It is going to bring in a lot of benefits to the country and the state, especially in expanding our scope for biodiversity conservation and tourism, environment resilience and other benefits.’’