Executive Summary on REDD+
Nigeria’s forests, which hitherto extend over 9.6 million hectares, have been dwindling rapidly over the past decades. The current deforestation rate is estimated at 3.7% per annum, which is one of the highest in the world. Awareness of this issue is growing in the country and an ambitious nationwide reforestation programme with indigenous species and local involvement has been launched to simultaneously regain forest cover and improve community livelihoods across the country. In addition, Cross River State, which has more than 50% of Nigeria’s remaining tropical high forests, declared a moratorium on
timber extraction in 2008, now extended indefinitely, while starting to explore new environmental finance mechanisms to further protect the forests, with a priority focus on enhancing the livelihoods of forest-dependent communities and rural dwellers. The REDD+ mechanism, as agreed under ongoing international negotiations in the climate-change convention, represents a valuable opportunity for Nigeria in their efforts for forest conservation, while simultaneously contributing to climate change mitigation globally and to enhancing community development locally. Nigeria has launched work on various REDD+ streams, notably on socio-environmental safeguards, multiple ecosystem benefits, participatory governance assessment for REDD+, and enhanced capacities for UNFCCC reporting.
The REDD+ programme represents the primary means for Nigeria to advance on REDD+ readiness, doing so in line with negotiations under the UNFCCC, while integrating the federal, state and community levels for REDD+ in an innovative way. The country considers that the UN-REDD partnership, which was designed as a quick-start initiative to support countries to enhance capacities and stakeholder engagement for REDD+, is a suitable platform for their REDD+ readiness ambitions.
The goal of the Programme is to enable Nigeria to contribute to climate change mitigation through improved forest conservation and enhancing sustainable community livelihoods. The objective is to build the REDD+ mechanism in Nigeria, using Cross River State as a demonstration model.