Nigeria is seeking more funding for its Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) programme, which was officially flagged-off last week in Abuja when major stakeholders put pen on paper.
At the 7th UN-REDD Policy Board meeting last October in Berlin, Germany, the country’s National Programme Document (NPD) on REDD+ Readiness was approved with a funding allocation of $4 million. This was followed by a series of events – a capacity building and awareness programme (or REDD+ University) and a stakeholder-wide reassessment of the plan (Local Project Appraisal Committee (LPAC) as well as Technical Review meetings) – that set the stage for the final endeavour.
Following the Programme Document’s multi-stakeholder approach, officials of the Federal Government, Cross River State Government and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) endorsed the NDP, signalling the commencement of the implementation of the project.
However, local REDD+ officials are exploring fresh windows of opportunities other than the UN-REDD, apparently to increase their financial capability and break new frontiers. The alternative REDD+ financing window in view is the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF), which is an arm of the World Bank.
The UN-REDD is being operated by the UNDP, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN (FAO).
Impressed by Nigeria’s record-breaking REDD+ Readiness preparation process, the FCPF has given the go ahead for the nation to prepare a REDD+ Readiness Proposal (R-RP) for additional funding allocation. Nigeria will be able to access about $3.6 million if the R-RP turns out successful.
Environment Minister, Hadiza Mailafia, disclosed during the official signing of the NPD that the National REDD+ Coordinator, Salisu Dahiru, had been directed to complete the R-RP by February 2013. She urged development partners, state governments and the private sector to support the REDD+ programme with co-funding.
The NDP envisioned a two-track approach to achieve REDD+ readiness, comprising national (federal) and sub-national (state) levels. Apart from Cross River State (which will host intense institutional, strategy-building and demonstration activities), eight other states – Taraba, Nasarawa, Jigawa, Lagos, Enugu, Katsina, Yobe and Oyo – have indicated interest in joining the REDD+ Programme.
Mailafia expressed appreciation to Governor Liyel Imoke of Cross River and Daouda Toure, the UN Resident Coordinator, for their roles in the process.
To Imoke: “He has demonstrated deep commitment and sincere political will to the cause for climate change and environmental sustainability in Nigeria. The state’s level of collaboration with the Federal Government is highly commendable.”
To Toure: “Out profound appreciation for his invaluable support and long-term cooperation with the ministry on climate change, REDD+ and other sustainable environmental management programmes. In particular, I will like to thank the UNDP for providing catalytic funding and technical support towards implementation of Nigeria’s REDD+ process, renewable energy programme and Nigeria’s participation in climate change conferences, including the just concluded Rio+20 Summit in Brazil.”
Imoke expressed his government’s continued support and commitment for the REDD+ Programme, saying: “We will do all it takes to ensure that Cross River State remains a credible model for REDD not only in the country but also across the region. This commitment is a demonstration of our appreciation of our choice of Cross River State as the pilot state for REDD in Nigeria.”
While assuring the gathering of the United Nations’ continuing support and unfaltering commitments to the successful implementation of the REDD+ programme. the UN Resident Coordinator and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative in Nigeria, Daoda Toure, stressed that Nigeria has shown in the past years an active participation in environmental and climate change meetings and summits.
“Nigeria earned by its own efforts the priority attention and public recognition of the United Nations’ REDD+ Programme, known as UN-REDD and composed by three U.N. agencies (FAO, UNDP and UNEP), and which has now committed $ 4 million for the national REDD+ programme that we are signing today.”
He added: “Ladies and gentlemen, you will agree with me that we now not only owe it to ourselves, but also to future generations, that the spirit of sustainable development needs to be expanded without delay. The implementation of this programme is likely to be a vanguard effort for that, which we hope will be followed by many other national programmes for low-carbon and climate-resilient development.”