United Nations Development Programme, UNDP and Global Environment Facility, GEF, have combined to fund an exploratory project tagged:sustainable fuel wood management in Cross River state.
This comes handy for Cross River, whose governor,Prof Ben Ayade, an environmental scientist of international repute, has made the protection of the environment one of the cardinal programme of his government.
The UN20 million project is funded through Energy Commission of Nigeria and runs in Delta and Kaduna states also.
The project, is expected to run for five years, from 2017-2022.
According to a document released by the donors, sustainable fuel wood management project addresses the problem of deforestation through the production of fast growing fuel wood and development and use of fuel efficient stoves.
In the words of Cross River state commissioner for climatic change and afforestation, Dr. Alice Akwu, “the project connects economic prosperity with climate protection and is in line with the Governor Ayade ‘s vision of sustainable forest management within a low carbon economy by 2020”.
She further pointed ,that “this is a recognition of the Governor’s efforts in the area of sustainable environment and climate.
To this end, she recounted Prof Ayade’s pioneer measures in this regards to include:establishment of a well equipped Green Sheriff with the mandate of afforestation,sanitation and enforcement,the establishment of a ministry of climatic change and forestry and use of solar energy for numerous government projects among others.
The honourable Commissioner also revealed that, “over 70 percent of Nigerians consume fuel wood .
“This contribute majorly to about 500,000 hectares of land being lost annually to deforestation. “