Nigeria recently launched a National REDD+ Strategy that will guide the implementation of new approaches to curb deforestation and reduce forest-related emissions that contribute to climate change.
Combating deforestation continues to be a key priority for the Government of Nigeria, as it charts a new development trajectory. It is estimated that over 400,000 hectares of forests are cleared each year cross the country. This forest loss is driven primarily by demand for fuelwood and construction timber, as well as agricultural expansion, mining and infrastructure development. These primary drivers are exacerbated by more indirect drivers of deforestation, including poverty, governance issues, technology constraints, and cultural factors.
With support from the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF), Nigeria’s National REDD+ Strategy will provide a framework and roadmap to tackle the country’s deforestation problem. The strategy will create connections between incentives for sustainable forest management and low emissions development pathways that respects the principles of good governance and enhance citizens’ rights.
The strategy is a 30-year living document that defines key performance objectives to measure the country’s progress towards reaching its emission reduction targets. It will guide REDD+ implementation at a landscape level to address specific drivers across various agro-ecological zones in the country. It is designed to allow for the integration of various systems for establishing baselines, as well as monitor and report performance, and enable validation of emission reductions across sectors.
The strategy was developed with robust stakeholder participation, including forest dependent communities, civil society, the private sector and relevant government ministries, departments and agencies. Because of this, REDD+ is providing an unprecedented evidence-based approach to policy influence, planning and budgeting, and mobilizing grassroots support for self-organizing and collective actions to foster sustainable land use and more effective forest governance.
Nigeria’s National REDD+ Secretariat is already using the strategy as a tool for high-level policy engagement and advocacy, capacity building, and fund raising. Developing the REDD+ strategy has been a process of unifying institutions and sectors that hitherto worked in silos and creating linkages for more effective coordination and collaboration to address drivers of deforestation holistically.
There is now greater public awareness and support to change the forest and land-use narrative. Nigeria’s National REDD+ Strategy will help the country and all stakeholders to place the right premiums on forests and support actions that are relevant to sustaining environmental and climate resilience, while contributing to the wellbeing and socio-economic of forest dependent communities.
Read more on Nigeria’s work with the FCPF