The Cross River State Government says it remains committed to managing and developing the state’s natural resources as part of her development strategy and contribution to global efforts at conserving biodiversity and the fight against climate change.
Government made this disclosure recently during a two-day Stakeholders Engagement and Strategy workshop with Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, and Local Government organised by the United Nations funded Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) programme, in partnership with the Cross River State Forestry Commission.
His Excellency, the state governor, Liyel Imoke, represented at the occasion by the Chairman, Cross River State Forestry Commission, Odigha Odigha, stated that it is a rigorous and strategic policy drive in the state to develop her forest potentials and create vast opportunities for investments in the emerging Green Economy. Imoke remarked that Cross River State is recognized globally as one of 25 biodiversity hotspots and having more than half of Nigeria remaining forests, the government of Cross River State is conscious of the huge responsibility she has in order to preserve this beautiful blessing from nature.
Odigha added that, Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) Programme is the United Nations Collaborative initiative with particular attention in developing countries to combat climate change within the context of sustainable development. The UN-REDD+ programme, as an environmental finance mechanism also promotes forest conservation, climate change mitigation and poverty reduction through improved and sustainable livelihood practice. The pilot phase of the REDD+ programme in Nigeria was implemented in Cross River State, which boosted at least 50 percent of the remaining intact natural forest in the country. He called on participants to take the forum seriously, to be able to plan and come out with a strategy on how to better protect our forest.
A communiqué was issued at the end of the occasion which was attended by dignitaries including the Commissioner for Information, Akin Ricketts, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Information, M Freedom Ejom, Permanent Secretary, Cross River State Forestry Commission, Perpetual Aji, amongst others.
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