By Archibong Jeremiah
Green Planet Initiative International (GPII), a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) has planted six hundred (600) red mangrove trees in Edik Idem, Esuk Okon and Akwa Esuk Iyamba (UNREDD+ Pilot Communities) in Bakassi Local Government Area of Cross River State, Nigeria.
The three communities have over the years been exposed to unprecedented environmental challenges which includes; deforestation of the mangrove ecosystem due to the overexploitation of the forest for fuel wood, nipa palm invasion, flooding, water pollution from illegal oil bunkering, poverty and unemployment.
The project which is funded by the United Nations Development Program/Global Environment Facility Small Grants Program being implemented by Green Planet Initiative International aims to ensure climate resilience in the selected Mangrove Communities in Bakassi Local Government Area of Cross River State.
The specific objectives of the initiative includes to promote integrated participatory mitigation measures and economically viable community development initiatives which effectively reduces emissions from deforestation and forest degradation by using REDD+ readiness as a catalyst from the bottom up, bringing resources and capacity to indigenous peoples and other forest-dependent communities thereby empowering them to engage in national REDD+ activities.
The project aims to ensure climate resilience in selected mangrove communities in Bakassi Local Government Area.
As part of the project activities, there was community mobilization and sensitization, awareness creation and capacity building on tree planting, entrepreneurship training and distribution of 300 energy efficient stoves.