Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Soundbites@COP15 - REDD, Andrew Babatunde

Ahimsa Kibikibi, PNG, Climate Pasifika

Copenhagen, 15 December - Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation or REDD, is often described as a 'perverse' mitigation measure but for one African country, it may save their remaining rainforests.

While REDD is complicated and may involve a lot of effort, for Nigeria the stakes for REDD are very high as deforestation of the 10 percent remaining forest, accounts for most of the country's greenhouse gas emissions.

Nigeria's Andrew Babatunde is convinced REDD or avoid deforestation, may save the remaining 800 thousand hectares of forest, which is owned by the state but is being deforested at 2 percent per year, one of the highest deforestation rates in the world.

He is also optimistic that going into REDD may allow Nigeria, bring down its high carbon emissions rate.  

"REDD and addressing land use change, is actually critical to bring down Nigeria's emissions, if deforestation continues unchecked, you will see the disappearance of the Cross River State rainforest within the next 10 to 15 years,"

Unlike Pacific Islands advocating for REDD, particularly the bigger Melanesian countries, PNG, Vanuatu, Fiji and Solomon Islands, to improve the lives of forest owners, REDD in Nigeria is seen as neccessary for the survival of its remaining rainforest and bio-diversity, from deforestation.

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