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Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Kaduna, Delta, Cross River to pilot UNDP-GEF fuelwood scheme

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has initiated the development of a full-sized Global Environment Facility (GEF)-supported project titled “Sustainable Fuelwood Management in Nigeria”, whose overall objective is to secure multiple environmental and socio-economic benefits, including reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emission from wood fuel consumption, enhanced carbon storage and sequestration, as well as improved rural livelihoods and opportunities for local development.

Participants at the workshop
Participants at the workshop

As part of the requirements for GEF-supported projects, a consultant was engaged to develop the Project Document (PD), which is then subjected to stakeholders review and validation before it is submitted to the GEF Secretariat. Consequently, a cross-section of participants gathered last week in Kaduna at a two-day workshop to review the draft PD. Kaduna, Cross River and Delta states have been picked as sites for the demonstration projects.

Valued at $4.4 million, the five-year project that is projected to have socio-economic benefits for rural dwellers in the country was approved in April 2014. It is expected to attract a co-funding in the region of $16.4 million. Numerous other GEF projects are currently ongoing in the country.

The Sustainable Fuelwood Management project is made up of five components, which are: Sustainable Fuelwood Supply, Fuelwood Demand Management, Domestic Industry for Clean Cook Stoves and Other Clean Energy Alternatives, Financial Models for Sustainable Fuelwood Management, and National and State-level Policies and Enabling Environment for Sustainable Fuelwood Management.

Under Sustainable Fuelwood Supply, models for sustainable fuelwood production will be demonstrated in:

  • 3,000 ha of degraded land restored with Sustainable Land Management (SLM) measures like farmer managed agroforestry and community woodlots and Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR);
  • Farm and community nurseries established to supply nine million seedlings, 20 business agents trained in SLM;
  • Agroforestry Management Committee created and strengthened in SLM.

Fuelwood Demand Management will feature:

  • Improved awareness and acceptance of alternative (renewable and more efficient) energy technologies for cooking and heating among local communities in Cross River, Delta and Kaduna states;
  • Increased penetration of improved/alternative energy technologies for domestic needs in targeted communities by at least 20%;
  • Avoided emissions of 40,000 t CO2e/year from combustion of un-sustainable biomass in inefficient cook stoves (replaced by more efficient or other alternatives).

Additionally, Domestic Industry for Clean Cook Stoves and Other Clean Energy Alternatives aims to achieve:

  • Improved efficiency, quality and affordability of domestically manufactured cooking/heating appliances for low income end users;
  • Strengthened domestic supply chain for EE/RE cooking and heating appliances

Outcomes under Financial Models for Sustainable Fuelwood Management are listed to include:

  • Consumer financing model for EE cook stove successfully operates covering at least 100,000 households per year;
  • Sales of efficient cook stoves increased by at least 20% in Cross River, Delta and Kaduna states;
  • Investment in sustainable forest management in Cross River and Delta states increased.

However, outcomes from National and State-level Policies and Enabling Environment for Sustainable Fuelwood Management entail an: Enabling policy and business environment for sustainable fuel wood production and consumption at national and state-level in Cross River, Delta and Kaduna states.

Mr Etiosa Uyigue of the GEF-UNDP Energy Efficiency Programme said: “The project is aimed at reducing the rate of deforestation and complement existing activities that reduce carbon dioxide emission into the atmosphere. Reducing emission from deforestation is critical and is part of the global climate campaign. Our development partners have approved the sum $4.4 million for the project which is also targeted at improving rural livelihoods and opportunities for the next five years.”

Mr Okon Ekpenyong of the Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN) said: “Activities under the project entails the development improved woodstoves. There is no management structure in place for the fuelwood; nothing is done to sustainably harness the resource.

“Desertification and erosion will worsen the situation if felling of trees for fuelwood is not managed. This project is useful and important, given the population of those doing business with fuelwood.”

Andrew Ojeblenu of the Delta State Ministry of Environment disclosed: “The project is very important to us in Delta State, in the light of the fact that we have done numerous projects to manage our fuelwood. We solely depend on the forest for fuel. We have developed the ecostove that reduced the use of fuelwood by 60%-70%.

“We also introduced biogas digesters, solar boreholes, and embarked on sensitisation campaign in communities on how pressure on forests can be reduced. The project is important to the entire country, in relation to climate change and REDD.”

An official from the Department of Forestry, Federal Ministry of Environment, stated: “Eighty percent of fuelwood consumption is rural-based. The quest for fuelwood is one of the main drivers of deforestation. We establish linkage with anyone involved in actions to address the issue. Fuelwood trade in the country is semi-organised.”

By Michael Simire

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