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April 15, 2024

Nigeria Remains Committed to Tackling Deforestation – Minister

The Minister of State for Environment, Dr Ishaq Salako, has stated that Nigeria through the Federal Ministry of Environment is committed to tackling deforestation and challenges confronting sustainable forest management including commodity-driven deforestation.

The Minister revealed that the lack of land use planning is a major reason limiting time-tested solutions to the problem of deforestation and challenges confronting sustainable forest management, such as commodity-driven deforestation.

Hajara Sami, Director of the Federal Department of Forestry, Federal Ministry of Environment, who represented the minister of state, stated this at the Center for Human Settlements and Sustainable Development Nigeria (CHUSSDEV) Forest Positive for Commodity Export From Nigeria (FPEN) High-Level Policy Meeting in Abuja on Wednesday.

Praising CHUSSDEV for organising the high-level policy discussion, the minister said it was a positive step forward that would go a long way in complementing what is being done at the Federal, State and local levels.

Salako said he hoped that the land use study pilot for Cross River State will be escalated nationwide.

In his words: ”As you may be aware, Nigeria, through the Federal Ministry of Environment, has been proactive in the quest to tackle deforestation as well as challenges confronting sustainable forest management including commodity-driven deforestation.

“Pursuant to Nigeria’s endorsement of the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use in 2021, we have welcomed and embraced initiatives geared towards actualisation of the Glasgow Declaration and other national and Global initiatives.

“One such is Forest, Agriculture and Commodity Trade (FACT) Dialogue (Formerly UK-PACT) which aims to accelerate the transition towards more sustainable land-use practices in a way that opens up new investment opportunities, for jobs and livelihoods in forests, land use and agriculture, and to ensure that the economies which have a sustainable relationship with forests are the ones that thrive and grow,” he said.

Salako further stated that the fact stands out as one of the major forums whose aims are consistent with Nigeria’s vision of sustainable forest management, climate amelioration, and economic development.

“It is not surprising, therefore, to see Forest Positive for Commodity Export from Nigeria (FPEN) under the auspices of the same UK-PACT taking the centre stage.

According to hin,  It is evident  that the steady advancement in the protection and effective management of forests is shown in the commodity trade promotion for economic prosperity.

“Agriculture is a major driver of deforestation in Nigeria and has continued to feature the successive empirical studies including as evidently revealed by the World Bank under the Scoping Study for Analysis of Drivers of Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Nigeria.

“The findings confirmed the major drivers of deforestation and forest degradation that could support policy and decision-making processes.

“You will agree with me that tackling the problem frontally relies partly on capacity building and institutional strengthening. The Ministry prioritises this and has continued to invest in training and re-training using any available opportunities,” he said.

Earlier, the Chairman of CHUSSDEV, Prof. Seyi Fabiyi, stated that the High-Level Policy Meeting of Forest Positives for Commodity Export from Nigeria, a Regional Demonstration, was officially launched in August 2022 with the UK-Pact Funding to promote Nature Based Solution to Climate Change challenges in Nigeria.

“The project is winding down and it becomes imperative to share the Outcomes, Outputs, and ideas of the project with the policymakers and stakeholders for the purpose of integrating into the Nigerian Climate change policy framework.

“Coincidentally, the African Climate Summit is currently being held in Nairobi Kenya and most of the issues that will come up at the summit are also listed for discussion in this meeting,” he said.

He noted that the policy shift in the technical areas of climate change is not a sprint, but a marathon, and the project team members are prepared to go all the way to provide a globally acceptable platform to monitor our forest and to provide zero deforestation assurances to our agricultural commodities.

He added: “The project will set the agenda for Nigeria to competitively participate in the global carbon market and promote sustainable commodities.”

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