Consequent upon its commitment to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) through the implementation of REDD+ Readiness activities, Nigeria has commenced moves to assess its historical emissions to establish a Forest Reference Emission Level (FREL). The FREL is a benchmark on which REDD is measured.
The initiative, which is a way of verifying whether the nation’s actions REDD+ Readiness actions are yielding the desired results, will likewise put in place a National Forest Monitoring System (NFMS) to monitor, report and verify (MRV) results of REDD+ activities.
In achieving this, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) is supporting the government to undertake a Forest Inventory in various states.
Mr Suffyan Koroma, the FAO Country Representative in Nigeria, in Lafia, Nasarawa State on Thursday, April 26, 2018 at the opening of a two-day workshop to raise awareness on “National Forest Inventory under REDD+ programme’’ restated the UN body’s desire to help Nigeria achieve the objective.
Koroma, who was represented by Mr John Fonweban, Regional Technical Adviser, FAO REDD+ Programme, said the inventory would sample all forest and land use types in Nigeria.
He said the step would enable them to estimate emission factor for accurate figure based on the destruction of the different types of forest in Nigeria.
Koroma said FREL would serve as a standard on which future REDD+ activities would be measured during the implementation of the strategy in the Country.
The FAO official said the workshop had become imperative to raise awareness mostly on data collection because inadequate data had been a major factor militating against forestry development in Nigeria.
He said the socio-economic aspect of the inventory was also very crucial as they provided a better understanding of forest resource use by the population.
Koroma said the inventory would also help in the establishment of possible links between forest resources use, employment and livelihoods.
“It is an inventory that covers all the land use types in the sense that you have one hectare of forest destroyed and used for agric plantation you will be able to see how much you are losing,’’ he said..
The FAO official said that the workshop would also serve as tools for advocacy and resource mobilisation for sustainable forest management at the country level.
S. O. Tiamiyu, a Deputy Director representing the Director of Forestry in the Federal Ministry of Environment, described the planned forest inventory as, according to him, “our problem is inadequate data.”
“We need this to plan and assess our performance in the forestry sector. Please assist us whenever our officials come to your state,” he stated.
Mrs Achuna Obi-Amadi, Director of Forestry in Enugu State, spoke on behalf of the Directors of Forestry, saying: “We are excited about the programme. We are looking forward to it, and we promise that we will deliver.”
Dr Moses Ama, National Coordinator, Nigeria REDD+ Programme, said that the objective of the workshop is to sensitise and raise awareness on the upcoming field data collection in various states where the inventory would be conducted across the country, as well as solicit support of stakeholders towards a smooth forest inventory.
“The meeting should be as engaging as possible. Beyond forestry, we should interact and reconnect with ourselves,” he said.
Participants at the workshop were drawn from Forestry Departments domiciled in various Ministries across the country, relevant agencies and non-governmental organisations.