Forest Conservation efforts meet approval
October marked a milestone in our community forest conservation efforts. We reported on the progress we have made with our partner villages during this period, when the grant from one of our most significant contributors of recent years reached its term. L’Union Internationale pour la Conservation de la Nature (UICN) provided a generous two-year grant that formed the backbone of a bold and successful effort to expand our forest protection programme beyond the partnership that we have long held with the village of Iko Esai.
The approval of our final report to UICN confirmed our continuing strong record in delivering vitally important conservation results, thanks to our magnificent volunteers and staff. We can all be proud of the achievements we have made thanks to the grants from UICN and our other co-funders (primarily Prins Bernhard Natuurfonds, Tusk Trust and the BBC Wildlife Trust). A short list of achievements includes:
– Extended the area of forest under formal protection from 20,000Ha to 40,000Ha
– Established Community Based Organisations (CBO’s) in two additional communities. Provided capacity enhancement training and mentoring for three CBO’s leading to successful self-run grant applications, and community development project implementations, by the communities
– Sustained the phenology study of Rhoko forest through its sixth year
– Provided alternative livelihoods to relieve exploitation pressure on forest resources to over 60 individuals
– Facilitated involvement of three communities in the United Nations Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) process within Nigeria that is evaluating options for international carbon credit investment to conserve local forests
– Surveillance teams within each community have been able to conduct GPS-based surveys of their forest limits and farming incursions to control adherence to Land Use Management Plans established during the project
Given the enormous strides we have made in these two years, we continue to seek funding with great urgency to extend this programme forward, with a vision that remains on track to attract long-term climate change mitigation funding via the REDD process to protect the forests of Cross River State in perpetuity.