Project Factsheet
Tools for » Nigeria REDD+ Readiness Programme
Project ID:00080129Description:UN REDD NIGERIA
UN REDD Programme Fund
Start Date *: 5 Sep 2012
End Date*: 31 Dec 2016
Country: Nigeria Project Status: Operationally Closed
  Participating Organization:   Multiple

Executive Summary

Nigeria's forests, which currently extend over 9.6 million hectares, have been dwindling rapidly over the past decades. The current deforestation rate is estimated at 3.7%, which is one of the highest in the world. Awareness of this issue is growing in the country and an ambitious nationwide reforestation programme with indigenous species and local involvement has been launched to simultaneously regain forest cover and improve community livelihoods across the country. In addition, Cross River State, which has more than 50% of Nigeria's remaining tropical high forests, declared a moratorium on timber extraction in 2008, now extended indefinitely, while starting to explore new environmental finance mechanisms to further protect the forests, with a priority focus on enhancing the livelihoods of forest-dependent communities and rural dwellers. These initial steps to better protect the forests with a community focus and by exploring innovative means suggest a policy shift in Nigeria in the forest domain. However, the country needs further and more intense actions, coupled with external cooperation and support, to succeed in this crusade.

The REDD+ mechanism, as agreed under ongoing international negotiations in the climate-change convention, represents a valuable opportunity for Nigeria in their efforts for forest conservation, while contributing to climate change mitigation and enhancing community development alike. The Federal Government of Nigeria, reinforced by pioneering efforts from Cross River State, started to engage in REDD+ in 2009, requesting for membership of the UN-REDD Programme, which was granted. During 2010, with support from UNDP, the country took the first, tangible steps towards REDD+: it created the first REDD+ coordination and consultation structures, both at Federal level and in Cross River State, and conducted a comprehensive Preliminary Assessment of the REDD Context in Nigeria, thus setting the basis for REDD+ planning. Then the Federal Government with Cross River State embarked on preparing, consulting and validating a national REDD+ readiness programme, which was presented at the sixth UN-REDD Policy Board in March 2011. It was praised for its innovative approach, and received a number of comments for improvement with the aim of being finally considered for funding at the seventh UN-REDD Policy Board in October 2011. As part of developing and improving its proposal, Nigeria has launched work on various REDD+ streams, notably on socio-environmental safeguards, multiple ecosystem benefits, participatory governance assessment for REDD+, and enhanced capacities for UNFCCC reporting. A Nigeria REDD+ University was planned for September 2011 (then postponed in the aftermath of the Abuja bomb attack) as a major capacity-building event that will serve to build the basis for the programme?s inception, once approved.

The present proposal represents the primary means for Nigeria to access funding in order to embark on REDD+ readiness, doing so in line with negotiations under the UNFCCC, while integrating the federal, state and community levels for REDD+ in an innovative way. The country considers that the UN-REDD partnership, which was designed as a quick-start initiative to support countries to enhance capacities and stakeholder engagement for REDD+, is a suitable platform for their REDD+ readiness ambitions. The Federal Government of Nigeria and the Government of Cross River State are politically committed to develop and realise the REDD+ mechanism in the country, willing to work in synergy, combining their distinctive roles and capacities, employing participatory methods and advancing in close cooperation with the UN-REDD Programme.

The Nigeria REDD+ Readiness Programme envisions a two-track approach to achieve REDD+ readiness in Nigeria, based on: (i) the development of institutional and technical capacities at Federal level, and (ii) carrying out intense institutional, strategy-building and demonstration activities in Cross River State. In this sense, this REDD+ readiness programme will simultaneously build capacities at federal (national) and state (sub-national) levels, in a cooperative fashion. Federal-level work will provide the national policy direction for REDD+. State-level progress will inform the national process and guide pragmatically other states interested in REDD+. Cross River State has been retained as the pioneer, state-level demonstration model for a number of reasons, such as its political leadership and manifest engagement in forest conservation, its efforts to bringing the REDD+ mechanism in Nigeria, and its major potential for GHG emissions reduction from the forest sector in view that it hosts over 50% of the country's high tropical forests. The Nigeria?s approach to REDD+ represents an innovative process in the world, suiting well the recent Cancun Agreements on climate change (2010).

The goal of the Programme is to enable Nigeria to contribute to climate change mitigation through improved forest conservation and enhancing sustainable community livelihoods. The objective is to build the REDD+ mechanism in Nigeria, using Cross River State as a demonstration model. The Programme is structured in four outcomes, two at the Federal level and two focusing on Cross River State, as follows:

1. Improved institutional and technical capacity at the national level.

2. Framework for REDD+ expansion across Nigeria prepared.

3. Institutional and technical capacity for REDD+ in Cross River State strengthened.

4. REDD+ readiness demonstrated in Cross River State. 

These outcomes are unfolded into 14 outputs and a broad set of core and indicative activities, all structured into a coherent and detailed Results Framework. The outputs and proposed activities address all REDD+ readiness components as proposed internationally, and include support for management of REDD+ readiness (both at federal level and in Cross River State), stakeholder engagement, learning and dialogue (from the federal level to communities), enhanced regional and international engagement on REDD+, a national MRV framework coupled with Cross River State's forest monitoring capacity, establishment of mechanisms for social & environmental safeguards and the promotion of multiple benefits, coordinated support for REDD+ experimental and field initiatives in Cross River State, and broad dissemination of the knowledge and best practices that will emerge throughout the implementation of the Programme. Specific outputs also provide for building a preliminary national strategy for expanding REDD+ across Nigeria (to allow the rolling out of REDD+ in new states) and a REDD+ Strategy in Cross River State (to trigger transition to REDD's phase 2).

The Programme’s budget is US$ 4 million, as currently available from the UN-REDD Programme for the Africa region. This will allow substantial progress, although some outputs will need co-financing to be fully attained. The proposed timing is two and a half years, with implementation intended to start in January 2012. The three UN-REDD agencies (namely FAO, UNDP and UNEP) will share technical and fiduciary responsibilities. The Programme will be implemented by two units: the National REDD+ Secretariat (under the aegis of the Special Climate Change Unit, and the technical support of the Federal Department of Forestry) and the Forestry Commission of Cross River State. They will have management and implementation responsibilities for outcomes 1-2 and 3-4, respectively. The National Advisory Council on REDD+ will be slightly reformed to serve as the Programme's Executive Board. The National REDD+ Technical Committee will provide technical advice and support across the entire programme activities, in close cooperation with Cross River State’s REDD+ team. A number of mechanisms for stakeholder engagement, technical support and policy advice are envisaged to guide and enrich the implementation. In view of the weak capacities for REDD+ in the country and the wish of country stakeholders to progress at a good pace, the Programme will recruit a number of national and international professionals to support smooth implementation, provide high technical quality and foster dynamic stakeholder engagement.

The two-track approach of Nigeria, which combines efforts at both national (Federal) and sub-national (Cross River State) levels, will allow an integrated, multifaceted process for REDD+, from federal governance to forest communities. It is envisaged that as federal capacities grow, new Nigerian states with political commitment will join in the REDD+ process. The intended intense action in Cross River State will in turn inform the national REDD+ readiness framework and provide a model for replication in other interested states, as appropriate. This approach is not only dynamic, building from the bottom up, but it is politically appropriate since Nigeria is a federal country where states and local communities hold rights over the forests and also exercise major policy and investment roles. It is equally the most feasible approach in view that Nigeria is a vast and complex country, with uneven levels of REDD+ awareness and interest across their 36 states. This approach is thus based on a pragmatic, learning and scaling-up dynamic.

The Nigeria REDD+ Readiness Programme has been developed with inputs from a range of Nigerian and international technical and policy specialists, including support from UN-REDD professionals. It was enriched by a series of consultations, UN-REDD support missions, and appraisal/validation events in Abuja, the federal capital, and in Cross River State, between November 2010 and August 2011, including forest community representatives. It was prepared under the spirit of the quick-start approach of the UN-REDD Programme, hence aiming at mobilising prompt initial funding and UN advice to explore and start building REDD+. The Programme was first presented and discussed at the sixth UN-REDD Policy Board in March 2011. It was later improved by addressing comments received from members of the UN-REDD Policy Board, from a 3-member Independent Technical Review team commissioned by the UN-REDD Secretariat, and from a number of technical and dialogue events in Nigeria (notably on governance and socio-environmental safeguards). This Programme is submitted for consideration for financial support by the UN-REDD Policy Board at its seventh meeting in October 2011. It is expected that the Programme will serve as a platform to mobilise more partners, alliances and funding for full-fledge REDD+ work across all Nigeria.

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If you have questions about this programme you may wish to contact the RC office in Nigeria or the lead agency for the programme. The MPTF Office Portfolio Manager (or Country Director with Delegation of Authority) for this programme:

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