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Nigeria becomes major importer of forest products

By DOTUN IBIWOYE
The United Nations, UN has disclosed that Nigeria is now a major importer of  forest products with an overall 3.5 % deforestation rate.
In 2002, the imports of forest products alone  cost the $123 million even though Nigeria has abundant forest resources.

This was disclosed by the United Nations collaborative programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (UN-REDD) at stakeholders workshop.

According to the UN-REDD convener, Josep Gari, despite the fact that Nigeria is not one of major  industrialized nations,  Nigeria is the top seven countries with carbon emission due to deforestation.

“Of all the trees in Nigeria, Cross River has half of it, and deforestation is a major set back. REDD is mainly for protection, conservation of the forest and not afforestation.” he said.

The REDD Programme was launched in September 2008 to assist developing countries prepare and implement national REDD+ strategies, and build on the convening power and expertise of the Food and Agriculture.” He affirmed.

Norway is the UN-REDD Programme’s first and largest donor having committed US$52.2 million for 2008-2009, and another US$32.1 million for 2010.

To date, the UN-REDD Programme’s Policy Board has approved a total of US$42.6 million for eight of the Programme’s nine initial pilot countries. These funds help to support the development and implementation of national REDD+ strategies.

The UN-REDD Programme is the United Nations Collaborative initiative on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest

Degradation (REDD) in developing countries. The Programme was launched in September 2008 to assist developing countries prepare and implement national REDD+ strategies, and builds on the convening power and expertise of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

The Programme currently supports REDD+ readiness activities in nine pilot countries, spanning Africa, Asia and the Pacific and Latin America: Bolivia, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Indonesia, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, United Republic of Tanzania, Viet Nam and Zambia. To-date, the UN-REDD Programme’s Policy Board has approved a total of US$42.6 million for eight of the Programme’s nine initial pilot countries.

These funds help to support the development and implementation of national REDD+ strategies. National programmes in four UN-REDD pilot countries (DRC, Indonesia, Tanzania and Viet Nam) are now in their implementation phase.

While current funding is programmed for its nine pilot countries, the Programme has also welcomed 18 others to be observers to its Policy Board, and has given them access to many other benefits of the Programme, such as networking, participation in regional workshops and knowledge sharing, facilitated by the Programme’s interactive online workspace. These partner countries are:

Argentina, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Central African Republic, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Kenya, Mexico, Nepal, Nigeria, the Philippines, Republic of Congo, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka and Sudan.


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