By Peter Usman
Abuja (Nigeria) – In a bid to assess Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions from deforestation, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), in collaboration with Nigerian government has commenced process to upscale forest inventory in the country.
Forestry Officer, FAO, John Fonweban, disclosed this in Abuja at the official opening of a two-day workshop on Forest Reference Emission under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Fonweban stated that forest inventory which covers the 36 states in Nigeria and the FCT became imperative, because it would aid the country to find out the quantity of emissions taking place in Nigeria based on the destruction of the different types of forests.
He also explained that the workshop has two categories of officers being trained, which include remote sensing and GIS experts and the forest inventory people that are supposed to do the work to determine how much can be loosed in terms of emissions for the different forest types.
“Inventory is very important in what we call the emission factor. It is to find out the quantity of emissions. For example if one hectare of the tropical forest is destroyed, we need to quantify it, and we also need to quantify how much a hectare of a Savannah ecosystem is destroyed, the Guinea Savannah is lost and this make the inventory important.
“It is an inventory that covers all the land use types. So it goes with the assessment for remote sensing to calculate the emissions and that is why the forest reference has to be done to get the historical changes and emissions that have been taking place in Nigeria as business without any project.
“We have to establish that reference level, otherwise you will not be able to assess the performance of Nigeria in terms of mitigation within the Paris Agreement.”
Also speaking, the Officer in charge of Food, Policy and Resource Division, FAO, Marieke Sandker, stated that the UN agency has assisted Nigeria in producing a reference level, which she said was in line with the modalities and decisions of the UNFCCC .
Sandker also revealed that the level of emission in Cross River State in the South South part of Nigeria stands at 15.7 million+CO2 per year from 2004-2014 from deforestation only.
She noted that Nigeria is one of the countries that have submitted its reference level to UNFCCC, saying that this is a show of progress of transparency in contributing to framework of the Paris Agreement.
“Right now Nigeria is preparing for the assessment at the reference level during which improvement will be implemented. End of May Nigeria will resubmit its modified reference to the UNFCCC. This assessment of the emissions could still be changed.
“The REDD+ programme started in 2009 through multi-stakeholder policy dialogue, capacity building with support from the UN-REDD Programme, preliminary assessments, field surveys and joint strategic planning between the Federal Government, Cross River State and the United Nations”.