By Gabriel Ewepu
ABUJA- THE Food and Agriculture Organisation, FAO, has commenced process to upscale forest inventory in collaboration with the Federal Government in the 36 States and Federal Capital Territory, FCT, to assess Carbon dioxide, CO2 emissions from deforestation.
This was disclosed Monday, by the Forestry Officer, REDD+Programme, Food and Agriculture Organisation, FAO, Dr John Fonweban, while making his remark at the official opening of a two-day Workshop on Forest Reference Emission Level/Forest Emission Level (FREL/FRL) Methodology and Submission to the, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, UNFCCC, which ends on March 6, 2018 in Abuja.
According to Fonweban the forest inventory in the 36 states and FCT became imperative, because it would aid the country to find out the quantity of emissions taking place in the country based on the destruction of the different types of forest. He also added to upscale the process across the country, the programme targets Nasarawa, and FAO is to upscale FREL to the national level.
He also explained that the workshop has two categories of officers being trained, which include remote sensing and GIS experts and the forest inventory people that are supposed to do the work and determine how much can be loosed in terms of emissions for the different forest types.
The REDD+ programme started in 2009 through multi-stakeholder policy dialogue, capacity building with support from the UN-REDD Programme, preliminary assessments, field surveys and joint strategic planning between the Federal Government, Cross River State and the United Nations.
He said: “Inventory is very important in what we call the emission factor. It is to find out the quantity of emissions. For forestry is for CO2 that can be emitted if for example one hectare of the tropical forest is destroyed, so we need to quantify them, and we also need to quantify how much a hectare of a Savannah, ecosystem is destroyed, the Guinea Savannah can be lost of one hectare or the mangrove forest is destroyed, with this makes the inventory important.
“It is an inventory that covers all the land use types in the sense that you have one hectare of forest destroyed and used for agric plantation you will be able to see how much you are losing. So it goes with the assessment for remote sensing to calculate the emissions and that is why the forest reference has to be done to get the historical changes and emissions that have been taking place in Nigeria as business as usual without any project.
“We have to establish that reference level otherwise you will be able to assess the performance of Nigeria in terms of mitigation within the Paris Agreement.”
In her assertion the Forestry Officer, Forest Reference Levels for REDD+ Forestry Policy and Resources Division, Food and Policy and Resource Division, FAO, Marieke Sandker, said the UN agency has assisted Nigeria in producing a reference level which is line with the modalities, decisions in line with UNFCCC and scientific community in providing guidance on how countries should be assessed.
“The level of emission in cross River State is 15, 7 million+CO2 per year from 2004-2014 from deforestation only.
“Nigeria is now one of the countries that have submitted its reference level to UNFOC a show of progress of transparency contributing to framework of the Paris Agreement. This is very important first step. Right now Nigeria is preparing for the assessment at the reference level during which improvement will be implemented. End of May Nigeria will resubmit its modified reference to the UNFCCC. This assessment of the emissions it could still change.
“The implication in Nigeria is when once you have a full assessment once when you have a fully assessed reference. This is one of the requirements for resource based payment Nigeria could aspire to GCF pilot. This opens opportunities for the country and not only to contribute to the Paris Agreement, but also to get payments for it if it shows to be successful on this implementation”, she added.