Ghana: Cross River inches toward carbon credit facility
An international forestry monitoring group, Nature Conservation Resource Centre (NCRC) has completed an 11- day study tour of the carbon stock of forest projects in Cross River State in line with the state’s agitation for carbon credit facility by the UN, World Bank and the US.
The state government said it stands a chance of getting N30 billion in carbon credit from international agencies for preserving its rainforest.
After going round the state’s rainforest, officials of NCRC commended the government and people of the state for initiating a pragmatic forestry conservation programme to check forest deforestation.
An official of the centre, John Mason, said the state’s attendance at the Katoomba meeting in Ghana, last year, and the task force put in place by the state to check deforestation, has attracted the attention of World Bank and United States government.
“The state has achieved some progress following the meeting which was held in Ghana on September 11, 2009 and culminated in the team from Katoomba REDD Plus Group Project coming to the state,” he said.
Mr Mason said his team has developed a work-plan with the state’s Forestry Commission to conduct a pilot project in the state and had come up with two draft reports which interest foreign financiers.
“The Afi Area is an amiable land of 2000 hectares with 11.3 million carbon emission in the forest, Ekuri has 11.9 million carbon emission, with potentials of generating $3million yearly,” he said.
A professor at University of Oxford and an expert in tropical forest, Yabinder Malhi, said the two prominent resources of the state include the forest and human resources.
“The forest of Cross River is magnificent and the richest in Africa, which is a treasure to the continent while the human resources in the forest sector is a pride to work with,” he said.
Happy with commitment
State governor, Liyel Imoke, said his government was happy with the enthusiasm and commitment displayed by NCRC by “Spending 11 days in the deepest forest of the state.” He said his government’s interest is to ensure that forest communities remain the beneficiaries of its programme. He said trying to put the forest on the map is a challenge but with climate change being top of international agenda, the state has a place.
“Government has put a team that shares the sentiment of the administration in the interest of the forest,” he said. “The forest is a great resource with great potential of economic inflow to the state.” He assured that the Reduced Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) programme will succeed and promised to work with NCRC to make this a reality.
The team visited Afi REDD area, which covers Ekuri, Iko Esai, Okorori, Etara, Efeyen, Owai and Ukpan Rivers spanning three Local Government Areas.