Kaduna Govt’s afforestation drive

REDD+ is an acronym that to many sounds strange due it newness, thus prompting reason to the highlight. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), REDD+ means an effort of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degregation of Forest, the (+) plus, here signifies the role of Conservation and Sustainable Management of forest and enhancement of Forest Carbon Stocks and thus a UN Convention in 2005.

The programme (REDD+) is a framework on Climate Change under the UN and the World Bank for the reduction of emissions of greenhouse gases through enhanced management of forest.

As complex as it may appear, Climate Change  is usually misunderstood, misrepresented and misinterpreted.

In simple terms, Climate Change refers to the  rise in global (warming) temperatures from the mid 20th century to the present.

In other words, Climate Change is a global phenomenon which is characterised by the transformation, changes in the usual climate of the planet, regarding temperatures, precipitation and winds that are specifically caused by human activities.

By continually depleting our forest, the Indiscriminate felling of trees, and not planting more, and the burning of fossils such as oil and coal, consequently emit greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

These are, no doubt, factors affecting rainfall and the driying up of the surface water, resulting to poor agricultural harvest, making life difficult for human and animals. They also negatively affect the aquatics and degradation of the large portion of our environment.

It has been Acknowledged that developing nations, coupled with poor and unstable  economies, are the most affected by the menace. It is in this regard, however, that the UN General Assembly alongside the World Bank designed REDD+ programme, annually budgeting funds for the establishment of economic plantations and encouraging agroforestry across communities.

The effort, therefore, includes facilitation of the awareness campaign and sensitisation against deforestation and land degregation.

With high concentration of multinational  emissions releasing industries, technologically advanced economies, being blamed for causing about 62 percent of global emissions, have been mandated to assist in ameliorating the negative impact associated with Climate Change.

The agreement on this matter was signed in 2005 during the UN General Assembly. The support includes  providing funds to cushion the effect of Climate Change in developing countries. 

The programme (REDD+) encourages afforestation by way of provision of sustainable alternative means, free distribution of improved economic tree seedlings, improved agro inputs and extension services to especially rural farmers, thus providing life time opportunities, job creation, sustainability and increasing  livelihood among the rural poor.
 Among the benefitting nations, Nigeria with its attendant desertification and ecological challenges with about five kilometers desert encroachment annually saw the respite, and indeed registered an interest. Seventeen Nigerian states forwarded submissions to the global body, with Kaduna state among the first four participating in the programme.

For Kaduna state, the succour came at the right time. Prior to that, in an effort to reduce desert encrochment, the administration of Governor Nasir El-Rufa’i established 310 kilometers shelter belt stretching from Birnin Gwari, Giwa, Kudan, Makarfi to Ikara Local government areas.

In its bid to encourage afforestation, the state Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources embarked on a statewide tree planting exercise annually and the distribution of tree seedlings to farmers, NGOs, residents, government and private institutions.

To this end, I urge REDD+ programme, federal and state governments, NGOs, and traditional institutions to enhance sensitisation using intensive awareness campaign through mass media to inform, educate and enlighten the public on the challenges associated with global warming and Climate Change to health and environment.

As stakeholders, we must encourage all to support, and appreciate this laudable effort of UN by also partaking in the campaign. Let us join hands to salvage our environment by planting trees and reducing activities generating emissions.

I am using this medium to appreciate the REDD+ programme which extended the invitation to me to participate in the REDD+  two-day sensitisation and media engagement in Nasarawa state; it was an eye-opener. I’m also grateful to Kaduna State Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources for the opportunity.

We were advised and encouraged by our mentor, the Principal Private Secretary (PPS) to Kaduna State Government, Dr. Suleiman Salisu, to learn the art of putting ideas in the dailies. Therefore, I decided to start writing in the newspapers as part of my contribution against the devastating effect of Climate Change.  Abdu, public relations officer, Ministry of Environment & Natural Resources, Kaduna State, writes via[email protected]