THE Climate and Sustainable Development Network (CSDevNet),  a civil society group, says it will partner with the government to achieve Nigeria’s targets for Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Degraded Forests (REDD).

The REDD programme is the UN collaborative initiative on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) in developing countries.

Dr Ibrahim Choji, the Chairman of the Network’s Board of Trustees made this known during a courtesy visit to the Nigeria’s REDD+ office on Tuesday in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) is a market-based mechanism for achieving the effective reduction of carbon emissions from forests.

Choji said that the visit was part of the activities for the commencement of the World Bank funded Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) project in Cross River and Ondo states.

“We are ready to create a workable and seamless flow of interactions between the government and the forest dependent communities in Nigeria.

“This is with a view to eliminating friction, needless suspicion and to build the capacity of forest-dependent communities to engage in the UN REDD process.”

He urged the Nigeria REDD+ Programme to always ensure strict adherence to the principles of equity and free, prior and informed consent that underpined the mechanism of engendering the collaboration and participation of a larger section of non-state actors in Nigeria.

“CSDevNet’s has a longstanding commitment to Nigerian forests and its relationship with the REDD+ Programme will reinvigorate the REDD+ Media Network it established in 2013.

“As well as the Nigerian Civil Society Framework on Paris Agreement and the SDGs (NCSFPAS) which was midwife into existence in August 2018 with support from Swedish and the International Development Agency (SIDA) to support Nigeria’s REDD+ programme.’’

Dr Moses Ama, the Nigeria REDD+ Programme Coordinator, welcomed the collaboration and applauded the civil society network for taking the right step in aligning with the National REDD+ Secretariat.

According to Ama, experience sharing is key to achieving such a huge task.

“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 2008 and builds on the convening role and technical expertise of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN (FAO), the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

He assured the CSDevNet’s team of his secretariat’s support for the effective implementation of set plans which had already been shared with the REDD+ Secretariat.

He stressed the importance of experience sharing, adding that Ekuri, a forest dependent community in Cross River State was  already considered as a forerunner in the REDD+ process.

“In a community like Ekuri, capacity building and mobilisation will be very strategic to meeting set objectives,” he added.

Ama called for more collaboration and civil society support for the Nigeria REDD+ processes and the country’s ambitious efforts at forest conservation, climate change adaptation and community development.

NAN recalls that CSDevNet is the Nigerian chapter of Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) and a coordinating organisation to several other regional and international groupings that are relevant to its core objectives.

The network brings together organisations comprising grassroots community practitioners, youth, media, women and faith-based organisations to commonly promote and advocate pro-poor, climate-friendly and equity-based responses to climate change.

The UN-REDD Programme supports nationally-led REDD+ processes and promotes the informed and meaningful involvement of all stakeholders, including indigenous peoples and other forest-dependent communities in national and international REDD+ implementation. (NAN)