Fuelwood is central to the livelihood of the African people. Over 70% of the Nigerian population still relies on fuel wood to meet their energy needs for cooking and heating. Particularly in Cross River State, the unsustainable harvesting of forest trees for fuelwood is one of the major drivers of deforestation and forest degradation especially the fast depletion of the mangrove tree species as fuelwood which is increasing flooding, the loss of forest cover, destruction of habitat for biodiversity and loss of non-timber forest product such as forest fruit, seed, medicine, etc., which exacerbate the impact of climate change.
In this regard, the annual Calabar Green Carnival led by the state Governor, along with lawmakers, politicians and other stakeholders is a very pragmatic platform for conveying the message of climate action to the public and building climate resilience through massive afforestation and reforestation in the state. For instance, street party messages´ on placards are displayed with catchy captions about the importance of preserving ecosystems. Some specific messages we portray include #ClimateChangeisreal, #StopDeforestation, #StopBushBurning, and #PlantTreesToday, among others.
In combating Climate change, the Sustainable Fuelwood Management (SFM) project was introduced via an agroforestry land-use system to promote the sustainable production and utilization of fuelwood to contribute to meeting energy needs, enhance food and fodder cultivation and the reclamation of degraded forest and coastal landscapes.
The Global Environment Facility (GEF), United Nations Development Program (UNDP), and the Cross River State Government are key funders of the project.