• Climate Change

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.

Key Targets

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.

Outcomes

  • The project started in 2017 and so far, they have 72 hectares of the agroforestry land-use system across nine communities in the state.
  • The establishment of fast-growing coppicing trees (Tectonia Grandis and Gmelina Arborea) in vastly degraded forest reserves and marginal lands has fostered the generation of fuelwood from economic trees and timber, generating a sustainable supply of fuelwood from pruned branches of the planted trees.
  • Degraded arid lands in the northern part of the state in Ogoja, Obanliku, Yala, and Obudu are being restored and desert encroachment is pushing back.
  • The cultivation of soil-nitrogen-fixing- trees and crops (Afzelia African, Brychistgia Euryocoma, groundnuts, cowpea) is promoting food security, also improving the nutrient content of the degraded lands, and enhancing the provision of ecosystem goods and services (biodiversity soil nutrient enrichment,  control of soil and wind erosion, carbon sequestration and watershed protection).
  • The initiation of the transfer of ownership of plantations to individuals and/or groups of individuals (a process in progress) is enhancing sustainability and greatly reducing fire outbreaks, especially in the northern arid regions where a forest fire is a common feature.
  • Support to Community Forest Management Committees in project landlord communities (Ogoja, Obanliku, Yala, Odukpani, Obudu, Akpabuyo, and Calabar Municipal) is boosting project maintenance, goodwill among the community and the state.

 

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