Expert Calls for Investment in Biodiversity
An environmental expert, Salihu Dahiru, has called for investment in biodiversity for Nigeria to maximise the potentials of the United Nations programme on Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+).
Dahiru, who heads the Nigeria REDD Programme in a chat with Daily Trust said that for REDD+ to succeed in the country there must be investment in biodiversity. "Such investment must not be considered as a "burden", but as a critical need;
"The cost of such additional investments must be fairly shared between those countries that demand for forest-related emission reductions and those that supply them, he added.
He said that Nigeria has included biodiversity experts, indigenous and local communities as statutory members of REDD+ governance bodies at National & Cross River State levels.
Daily Trust recalls that Nigeria was recently granted a $4 million by the REDD governing body to undertake initiatives that would bring about forest protection and conservation.
He said that it was important that countries participating in the REDD programme including Nigeria prioritize and standardize their biodiversity needs.
Dahiru said Nigeria had conducted a preliminary study and mapping of biodiversity, carbon and co-benefits overlays in collaboration with United Nations Environment Programme aimed at identifying and prioritizing high biodiversity and high carbon areas.
"In piloting the UNREDD social and environmental principles and criteria, Nigeria conducted assessment of applicability of the Principles and Criteria as a tool for operationalizing the social and biodiversity safeguards for REDD+;Nigeria is also piloting Participatory Governance Assessment (PGA) for REDD+, he noted.
He said that plans were on to scale up regional, national and local level consultations and stakeholder involvement.
He said that the country being the latest country admitted into the REDD+ has adopted a two-track Approach to REDD+ Readiness.
He said that the translation of Political Will and government determination into real action would bring about the implementation of policies that would ensure Nigeria maximise the opportunities inherent in the programme.
Dahiru also called for the integration of REDD+ into Nigeria's National Development Agendas - through the National Planning Process and the need for institutional strengthening and legislative backing at National and State levels on the country's REDD+ initiative.
Creation of ideal environment for private sector participation, continuous capacity development and broad stakeholder engagements were some of his recommendation for policymakers.