By John Ighodaro
CALABARâ€”The task force put in place by Cross River State government to address climate change has attracted the attention of the World Bank and United States government.
Mr. John Mason of Nature Conservation and Resource Centre, NCRC, Ghana, who commended Cross River State for initiating a pragmatic forestry conservation programme to check forest deforestation, disclosed this in Calabar.
He spoke when he paid a courtesy call on Governor Liyel Imoke at Government Lodge, Calabar.
According to him, Cross River delegatesâ€™ attendance at the Katoomba meeting in Ghana last year had succeeded in placing the state on the world map.
He added that the task force put in place by the state has attracted the attention of the World Bank and United States government.
During the visit, Mason also submitted two draft reports of an eleven day study on the carbon stock of some forest projects in the state, saying the state had achieved some progress within a short period.
He said the meeting in Ghana on 11 September 2009 culminated in the team from Katoomba REDD Plus Group Project visiting the state.
Mason explained further that they had developed a work plan with the Forestry Commission to conduct a pilot project in the state and had come up with two draft reports they believed were viable and attractive to foreign financiers.
He disclosed that the Afi area was arable land of 2000 hectares with 11.3 million carbon emission in the forest, Ekuri 11.9 carbon emission with the capacity of generating 3 million yearly.
He, however, advised that the documents be studied and comments made for clarification while promising to assist the state in that direction.
Also speaking, a member of the team, Professor Yabinder Malhi of University of Oxford, an expert in tropical forest, described the forest in Cross River as magnificent and the richest in Africa.
Responding, Governor Liyel Imoke, said the state was happy with the enthusiasm and commitment displayed by NCRC in the forestry programme by spending 11 days in the deepest forest of the state.
He explained that government had put a team that shared the sentiment of the administration in the interest of the forest.
According to Imoke, governmentâ€™s interest is to ensure that forest communities remain the beneficiaries of its programme.