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Nigeria to earn N34.44 billion yearly in tree planting

External Reference/Copyright
Issue date: 
15 February 2011
Publisher Name: 
Compass Newspaper
Samuel Ogidan
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If tree planting programme initiated by the Federal Government is taken seriously, the way it should, Nigeria stands to generate a revenue of about N34.44 billion yearly.

Revealing this during a chat with newsmen in Abuja, UNISPACE/Global Oxygen Development (GOD) Corporation noted that 20 per cent scenario of deforestation avoidance projected rate at $15 per ton of carbon, country’s carbon credit sequestration capacity through the project’s implementation of these projects, it is estimated to generate equivalent of $229,605,000 million per year, which translates to about N34.44 billion.

The Corporation also commends Nigeria as the first African country to boost reforestation, afforestation and re-vegetation programmes to the tune of five billion naira, with plans to raise millions of seedlings in the 36 states of Nigeria.

The Chief Operating Officer of the Corporation, Dr. Victor Fodeke explained: “The projected scenario is this, if by this planting we can cut down by 20 per cent the rate of deforestation it is estimated that one ton of carbon that has been saved from going to the environment, from going to cause global warming will earn Nigeria $15 per ton and it is projected to generate $229, 605,000 million per year, which translate to about N34 billion per year that Nigeria stand to gain.

“That is why we want every local government to be involved in tree planting so that this benefit can come, apart from other benefits we mentioned to you; these other benefits are not the only incentives that we are thinking, the incentive is that Nigeria becomes a green country, Nigeria put herself on the map of green, in terms of sequestration of carbon and reducing global warming and promoting sustainable development. That is better life from the rural areas to the top.”

The Managing Director of UNISPACE/GOD, Chief Mrs. Oluremi Adiukwu-Bakare, said: “Nigeria is the first African country to boost deforestation, aforestation and re-vegetation programmes to the tune of N5 billion. We plan to raise millions of seedlings in the 36 states; many of the states need to be afforested; in simple language it’s to say that some of the vegetations are already being used for firewood among others. The government is trying to raise seedling and give to consultant who can plant, who will go out there and plant in various states of the federation.”

In addition, Fodeke further explained that 20 consultants were set up to assist the states to raise these seedlings that the communities would plant.

His words: “Nigeria has taken the lead in the matter of Reducing Emission from Degradation and De-forestation (REDD) Plus and integrated forest management; it’s a huge amount of money translated to millions of tree seedling, where UNISPACE/GOD come in is that when you just plant these seeds and leave them like that what are the benefits? Many countries and organizations are not aware of who is on the large scale re-forestation and deforestation programme, Kenya and Uganda are already on this programme, but when you talk of input in terms of funding, federal government through the Ministry of Environment and the Ecological Fund office should be commended for this initiative, they are going to raise millions of seedlings in these states.

“The government has taken the initiative to seek the carbon, and to promote sustainable community development and UNISPACE/GOD will now move forward to see to the array of the carbon credit from this programme. UNISPACE/GOD will work toward ensuring in the normal programme that is agreeable, that has been put down in the regulations, that are in the a sort of voluntary carbon system and in the regulatory system of the UNOCCC, by laid down procedure by the DNA office and in the voluntary carbon, which Nigeria can now earn carbon credit from such project.

“Government has spent so much; government will now earn carbon credit from this investment that is the unique investment that has been brought in by his Excellency, Mr. Joseph Collardeau. You now have to develop these assets, they are forestry carbon assets that government has deliberately pushed money into, but is not money down the drain, because these benefits of REDD and integrated forest management has typified by reforestation, aforestation and re-vegetation will now be really harnessed, that is what it means.”

On his part, Collardeau, an investor from Europe/America disclosed that what he’s seeing in Nigeria is a big evolution. He said: “Very interesting evolution is about to start. We started a worldwide project in the world, we started in New York, we are in South America, Asia, we are presently in Africa, but our main presence right now is in Nigeria, we have seen so much help from the Ministry of Environment, so much help from UNISPACE/GOD. What we are happy with as investors here is that we found out that instead of trading one by one in different countries, we have in Nigeria a big country where it will lead the efforts in Africa and we are very satisfied with that.

“We must have a strong base in Nigeria; we have got help from the Ministry of Environment. What we are bringing in will help us and generally Nigeria to become big men of the ECOWAS countries and the rest of Africa. That for us investors is saying that we have to change good money in a good country for a good post.”

This relationship you are seeing that is UNISPACE and Global Oxygen Development Corporation, according to Fodeke “is a win, win for Africa, because when you have a programme like the REDD and Integrated Forest Management, and you do not get private sector into it, it may be very difficult for you to take off.

“Now you have the investors coming in, Global Oxygen Development (GOD) is a Euro-America Company that is devoted in making REDD plus and Integrated Forest Management a reality for Africa, the implication of it is that the benefit of preserving the forest becomes realizable as Nigeria provides all the natural resources to save the carbon and to give and deliver to the owners of the forest sustainable community development, poverty will be eradicated, food will be secured and employment will be generated, and you know what this translated to in the Millennium Development Goal and the sustainable national development; it is a plus and a win, win and that is why Joseph Collardeau is here, he represents the big investors from Europe and America, and they are here to make it happen.

“Added to the plus is the co-benefit of preserving your forest, the community that owns these forests benefits from it by benefiting from all that it makes them to attain. What is called sustainable development in terms of conservation of the bi-diversity, conservation of the water, conservation of the water resources and of the natural resources, these are the benefits that are making and translating what you can call an environment for Africa in terms of conservation based empowerment.

“There are sort of empowerments that are not for conservation based, but these empowerments depending on conserving our natural resources are sustainable that last more than the generation of those who are living.”

The Corporation however noted that Nigeria is presently positioned to become the hub of activities that would usher in a new era of measurable reportable and verifiable sustainable community development in Africa, adding that this fact motivated UNISPACE/GOD to enter into agreement with Federal Ministry of Environment in 2010.

It says: “UNISPACE/GOD commends Nigeria for putting in place a National REDD readiness plan with the first REDD project at advanced stage in Calabar. UNISPACE/GOD has identified at least one CDM/Voluntary Carbon Market (VCM) bankable REDD/Forest project in each of the 774 Local Area Councils.”


Extpub | by Dr. Radut