Reclaimed 1.5 hectare of degraded land on the Obudu Plateau
About the Implementing organization
Name: African Research Association Managing Development in Nigeria (ARADIN)
Year of establishment: 1978
Type of organization: Non-governmental Organization
Poor implementation and enforcement of forest legislation; unsustainable/illegal logging; bush burning; cattle grazing; infrastructural development, an influx of tourists has supported the loss of biodiversity and forest degradation on the plateau. The above is what catalysed ARADIN’s initiative, aggressive awareness with the surrounding communities (Okpazange, Okwomu, Keji-ukwu, Ichile-Mashiga, and Anape situated on the plateau); the tourism and hospitality management on the Plateau; State Government Fire Service; State Forestry Commission and the Local Government. Formation of Community Forest Monitoring Committee(CFMC) made of five members (3 men and 2 women) drawn from an open forum of 65 persons (34 male & 31 female) facilitated by chiefs. A woman was elected the secretary of CFMC while a man was elected chairman. This guaranteed the interest of women and children in decision-making. CFMC developed a constitution, facilitate registration with Cross River State Forestry Commission (CRSFC), monitor and report activities in community forest. Trained beneficiaries on nursery development and management in collaboration with Forestry Commission, raised 1200 tree seedlings to replant degraded sites(1.5hectares). Established 3 school conservation clubs, 60 pupils and students including 31 male and 29 female trained as conservation ambassadors and educate others on the importance of forest and resource conservation. Trained 74 female and 78 on climate change across the five communities.
Type of Action
Protection / Restoration / Awareness and education
Sustainable Development Element
Jobs and livelihoods / Climate action
Through the initiative 1200 tree seedlings to replant degraded sites covering an area of 1.5hectares. Established 3 school conservation clubs (31 male and 29 female), trained as climate change ambassadors. Trained 74 female and 78male on climate change across the five communities.
ARADIN organised 2 street rallies and advocacy campaign. Stakeholders include the CFMC; Youth Corps Members; schools and conservation clubs; Cross River State Fire Service; Cross River National Park; African Sun Newspaper; Obudu Mountain Resort; Cross River Broadcasting Corporation (CRBC); Cross River State Tourism Bureau and CSOs. Commissioner of Environment used the occasion to sensitise community members on environmental issues such as climate change and forest conservation. Information, education and communication materials were used. CRBC documented and featured the programme in the station “The Ecosystems”. The two events held in Obudu plateau and Calabar respectively.
Sustainable Development Impacts
This initiative enhanced gender equality as well as empowering women and girls. The Community Forest Monitoring Committee(CFMC) formed comprised of 2 women and 3 men also with a woman as the elected secretary of the Committee. Women were given opportunity to play the leadership role and involve in decision making. Also, the 3 school conservation clubs established with a total of 60 pupils/students had including 29 female as members. The majority of livelihood support beneficiaries were women. Another prudent action taken to combat climate change and its impact was the inclusive and participatory approach adopted; broad stakeholders were engaged: communities, government, private and non-government actors. 1200 tree seedlings were raised to replant degraded sites covering an area of 1.5hectares. Young people in schools empowered to promote awareness. 74 female and 78male trained on climate change across the five communities. This actions contributed in the protection & restoration biodiversity.
This initiative has brought policy issues closer to the people at the community level given that the Cross River State government has a policy framework in place for forest management. The policy, which before now was not clearly disseminated to the rural communities, was obtained from the Forestry Commission, reproduced and distributed to the various communities. This was a great step to mainstream forest policy in project implementation with a view to sharing knowledge on community’s rights, access to land and land tenure system.
There has been evidence of policy influence at the community level. The communities have established and institutionalised the community level monitoring committee and now have a link with the state Task Force on anti-deforestation. This experience will feed into the UN REDD+ process currently under implementation in Cross River State to further expand the scope of the project and achieve more successes.
Climate change is obviously a global issue that requires global efforts and contributions from various categories of people ranging from resource users, researchers, policies makers, policies drivers as well as private and non-government actors. The basic means for achieving tremendous mitigation and reducing vulnerability to climate change is through concrete engagement and involvement of those whose daily actions and activities can strongly constitute threats to the environment or ecosystem. This can only be achieved when projects are taken to community level where the people can collectively identify climate change issues and contribute to making suggestions that can address such challenges. Creating synergy between communities, private and public sectors would enhance understanding and interpretation of policies, commitment and accountability. Roles are shared through designed plan backed by existing policies. Everyone will clearly understand what to do and how to do it.
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