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National REDD+ programme in Bayelsa state

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By Mercy Kelani

This project seeks to promote forest and biodiversity conservation.

A Nigerian state, Bayelsa, has made huge progress in ensuring its inclusion in the national REDD+ programme of the country. It was launched by the nation at COP26 to aid reduction of Emissions and protect the Nigerian Forest. This initiative was led by the African Centre for Climate Actions and Rural Development Initiative (ACCARD) and a Finance/" target="_blank">Climate Finance Investment organisation, Terra Global Capital, based in the US. With this programme, it is possible to promote forest and biodiversity conservation, while enhancing livelihood for forest-reliant communities in Bayelsa.

National coordinator and Nigeria’s REDD+ focal person, Moses Ama, during a recent Community Engagement held in the state applauded the Bayelsa State government for its preparedness to commence the programme. Represented by Tijani Zakirai, Ama stated that this effort made by the state government will ensure enhancement of conservation efforts, development of forest carbon stocks, and Sustainability of forests management. He added that the impact of the programme will have massive benefits in the state, particularly the Edumanom Forest Area Communities.

Results of the programme will address climate change.

He further added that the commissioner of the state had earlier disclosed to officials that the engagement of stakeholders is related to the current REDD programme enlightenment activities chaired by Terra Global Capital, ACCARD, and the government of Bayelsa state, ongoing in Edumanom forest reserve on the significance of the forest conservation initiative. Stake holders and concerned communities were, therefore, advised to take the programme with utmost seriousness as it will address many associated challenges.

It was stated that commencement of the programme will address Climate Change and create green jobs, providing residents with alternative livelihoods. Resultantly, there will be an improvement in the tourism of the state. Commissioner for Environment in the state, Iselema Gbaranbiri, in a statement, stressed the commitment of the administration of Governor Douye Diri to safeguard the biodiversity and ecological environment of the state. He further affirmed the unwavering support of the governor towards the forest conservation programme.

New forestry protection bill to be passed into law soon.

The support of the governor is focused on achieving sustainable Forest Management and mangrove protection in the forests of the state for future generations. Also, he is keen on combating the impacts of climate change in the state, prompted by Deforestation. According to the commissioner, a new Forestry protection bill has been drafted to be passed into law in a few weeks; this is to emphasise the commitment of the state government in matters regarding forestry.

Furthermore, the founder of ACCARD Initiative, Freeman Oluowo; director of climate change, Ere Wakedei; and director of forestry in the Ministry of Environment, Festus Egba, spoke on the significance of trees and the forest to human life and the dire need to contribute to the efforts made to enhance conservation of forest diversity through the upcoming Bayelsa State Jurisdiction REDD program. In his closing statement, the ACCARD boss offered words of advice for associated communities involved in the initiative.

Reducing emissions from deforestation is key to the project.

Speaking virtually on behalf of Terra Global Capital, Erica Meta gave essential details on the investments plan for the REDD+, Terra Global, and the international standard which controls the operation of the organisation, as well as laid out step-by-step financing plan of the initiative. Additionally, REDD+, as an international framework, stands for “reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, conservation of existing forest carbon stocks, Sustainable Forest Management and enhancement of forest carbon stocks.” Associated communities were advised to focus on the many benefits of the project.


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