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Charcoal producers to fix forest deficit

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By Abiodun Okunloye

Standard practice and lawful trade in charcoal commodities will be promoted.

To combat Nigeria’s severe forest deficiency, the National Association of Charcoal Producers, Dealers, Exporters, and Afforestation (NACPDEAN) has pledged its dedication to sustainable forest development. This was announced on Saturday in Kaduna by Mr. Babatunde Edu, the association’s president, at the inauguration of state officials for Kaduna. He stated that the organisations primary goal is to increase the number of privately owned, indigenous plantations of economically viable trees. He elaborated by saying the group was also trying to develop a wood-free, industrial replacement for charcoal.

He explained that even though Nigeria has made approximately $73.2 million USD from the charcoal trade as of 2019, the country’s main priority is protecting the environment. A report also stated that the organisation hosted a sensitisation on its efforts with the topic “Advocacy on Sustainable Afforestation and Reforestation for Kaduna State Posterity.” According to Edu, NACPDEAN was set up to standardise the industry and promote the lawful trade of commodities across national borders. According to the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), there are significant forest deficiency gaps in Nigeria.

Nigeria recorded 1.14 million hectares of forest loss between 2001 and 2021.

According to Global Forest Watch, industrial agriculture and food production account for 80 percent of deforestation, and these industries were responsible for 1.14 million hectares of forest loss in Nigeria between 2001 and 2021. Deforestation is caused by many different things, including logging, petroleum exploration, urban growth, forest burning, grazing, and so on. More than 70% of the country’s GDP came from exports of wood products and agricultural commodities, he said, during the time period from 1960 to the early 1970s when the industry received attention. He stated NACPDEAN was created to enforce charcoal industry tree planting compliance.

Moreso, he estimates that the $24.2 billion in revenue generated by the global wood charcoal industry in 2018 has been roughly stable since then. According to Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) estimates, Nigeria’s 2019 output of 4.5 million tonnes places it in second place globally, behind Brazil’s 5.5 million tonnes, and first in Africa. This accounts for 28% of the total global output. The FAO, he said, placed Nigeria 8th in world wood charcoal consumption for 2019. He was, however, optimistic that Nigeria could profit enormously from the international charcoal market with careful planning, all without negatively impacting ecosystems.

Reduction in forest crime and deforestation will be achieved.

The association’s major goal is to promote sustainable forest growth and a large amount of forest cover throughout the country. At the inauguration of the association’s new Kaduna State officials, Edu remarked that one of its mission should be to reduce forest loss. Their goal in Kaduna is to achieve afforestation with sufficient revenue earnings while reducing forest crime and deforestation. Being the president of the association, he emphasised the importance of growing the subsector to create more jobs and empower the people of Kaduna state.

Secretary-General of NACPDEAN, Mr. Kngsley Amadi, in his remarks, urged the government of Kaduna State to make it easier for stakeholders to follow the afforestation agenda. Amadi demanded that the state allocate land for the association’s afforestation and reforestation initiative in every area of the state. According to him, the government should also ensure that the Afforestation Pass and Right are enforced. He added that all parties involved in the charcoal industry must do this if they want to promote the industry’s sustainability effort and ensure that the updated standards are followed.

State revealed its support for the organizations afforestation agenda.

Lastly, Kaduna State Governor Sen. Uba Sani, who was represented at the event by State Director of Forestry Mr. Hassan Chumbi, called for the adoption of environmentally friendly methods of charcoal production. He assured them that the state government would work with them to make their afforestation and reforestation initiative a success. According to the report, Mr. Dauda Ussaini will head the NACPDEAN’s Executive Council in Kaduna State, with Mr. Jacob Chumbi appointed as Secretary. Among the others were Adamu Abdullahi (the Organising Secretary), Gadafi Tagwaye (the Financial Secretary), Sani Musa (the Treasurer), and Lauwali Abdullahi (the Assistant State Coordinator).

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