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In an effort to conserve her forest and earn carbon credit, Taraba state government is set to join the United Nations initiative known as Reducing Emission from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) in developing countries. In line with the interest shown by Taraba state to join the REDD+ programme, a scoping team from the Federal Ministry of Environment has visited the state to access the readiness of the state to take part in the next phase of the UN-REDD+ programme. The Programme was launched in 2008 and builds on the convening role and technical expertise of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The UN-REDD Programme supports nationally-led REDD+ processes and promotes the informed and meaningful involvement of all stakeholders, including Indigenous Peoples and other forest-dependent communities, in national and international REDD+ implementation. The Programme supports national REDD+ readiness efforts in 56 partner countries, spanning Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin America, in two ways: (i) direct support to the design and implementation of UN-REDD National Programmes; and (ii) complementary support to national REDD+ action through common approaches, analyses, methodologies, tools, data and best practices developed through the UN-REDD Global Programme. Receiving the UN-REDD+ team, the acting Governor of Taraba State Alhaji Sani Abubakar Danladi who was represented by the secretary to the State Government Barr. Gebon Timothy Keteps said that Taraba state will be the next state to come on board after Cross River State, stating that, the state is proud of it forest reserve and they discourage logging and other harmful forest practices that affect the forest.
“ we have done everything to key in Taraba as the next REDD+ state after Cross River state and we took some bold steps to make sure that Taraba is ready at all time for the scoping mission, first we started by enlightening our indigenous people living around our forest areas, setting up task force to control illegal logging and setting up our own REDD+ committee, here in Taraba state we are proud of our forest reserves and the whole of the state is REDD+ ready , I want to assure you that we do all these things to control carbon emission, the protection of our forest is not just the responsibility of the Federal Ministry of Environment but the responsibility of all stakeholder and all we need now is to intensify our efforts in the sensitization of our people who live in heavily forested areas to appreciate what REDD+ is doing” According to the UN-REDD+ team leader, Mr. Moses Ama an assistant director at the national REDD+ secretariat in Abuja, the team is in Taraba State for a scoping mission. On what the state stand to benefit from the REDD+ programme, he said “we have not come to first give benefits to the state but to see, Taraba state said that they are interested and they have a forest that they can preserve and earn carbon credit that has a lot of benefits attached to it, so we have come for this mission to find out if that is true, are there this forest? Is the government having that political will? Are the communities available and ready to run that will make this forest stay and deliver these benefits that REDD+ is all about? That is the essence of our mission, Taraba have been boasting that they have wonderful forest and they have the political will and they are into conservation so we at the national REDD+ secretariat because we want to bring on two more states for the UN-REDD+ programme we said let us come and find out if this is true”. He further stated that “Taraba state has over the years shown commitment in conservation activities and they have been having interaction with the Federal ministry of Environment and the REDD+ secretariat. The REDD+ programme came and the Cross River State was used as a pilot state because the fund that was made available at that time was not sufficient to carry along other state who have interest to run in the REDD+ programme. However, fund have been released to bring on board two more additional states to be prepare so that we can run properly with this carbon training programme, so we went around and the states that have indicated interest, we have to initiate a scoping mission to see what they have on ground since it is quite competitive and we just need two states and several states have indicated interest, we have carry out this scoping mission in Delta State, Ondo , Ekiti and Nasarawa state. Why we are doing this is because very soon we will need to interact with the states we have scoped with a view of bringing onboard the two states for which this grant has been released” Speaking during the visit, the Taraba state Commissioner of Environment Mrs. Rebecca Manasseh who chronicled some of the efforts put in by the state to ensure that the state is in the readiness process for the REDD+ programme said the state has shown commitment towards forest conservation and the REDD+ progranmme “ the state have carried out state wide biodiversity assessment of four selected forest , we are also collaborating with the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) to implement Participatory Forest Management (PFM) project and the purpose of the project is to establish innovative and collaborative mechanism for the sustainable management of the four priority site for the conservation of the forest biodiversity on the Mambila Plateau and the Donga Valley region of the state”. She added that the state was among the first to participate in the UN-REDD+ scoping mission in 2010, and the state government has inaugurated the REDD+ technical committee, in line with this, the state also carried out Rapid Rural Appraisal (RRA) of forest in Sardauna and Kurmi local government and empowering poor rural communities living in and around the forest areas to improve their livelihoods by realizing and exercising their rights to participate in and benefit from the management of the forest on which they depend for their livelihood. By Abah Anthony John
- Abah Anthony John is a Correspondent at Africasti and Assistant Professor at National Institute for Educational Planning and Administration, Ondo.
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