By Our Correspondent
A United Nations training program involving about 28 countries from across Africa is in Calabar, the Cross River state capital brainstorming on how best to create successful policies and measures to address deforestation and environmental degradation in Africa.
The UN Reduced Emission on Deforestation and Degradation REDD+ week long Program drew participation of experts from Food and Agricultural Organization FAO , United Nations Development Project UNDP, as well as the United Nations Environment Program UNEP.
Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, Senior Regional Technical Advisor, Elsie Attafuah said UN REDD PLUS has a role to play beyond the reduction of emissions from the Forest sector as it has also contributed to the environmental perspective and promoting green economy development.
The UN official who declared that, there is need to explore various sectors to the challenges of deforestation and forest degradation, stated that UN-REDD regional Academy will therefore bring African Countries together to play leadership role in their various national economies.
The goal of the regional UN-REDD training workshop, according to Attafuah, will hold sessions that will discuss the concept for the UN-REDD+ academy and identify priority capacity building needs with REDD countries, and other relevant partners.
Declaring the program open, the Governor of Cross River state, Senator Ben Ayade contended that deforestation and forest degradation are the third largest global contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, topped only by the global energy and industrial sectors.
The Governor who was represented by his Deputy, Professor Ivara Esu, averred that climate change represents not just one of the greatest challenges humanity has ever faced, but also a tremendous opportunity for developing nations to move towards efficient and sustainably developed societies.
He charged UN-REDD to evolve an objective policy and strategy that will ensure transparent and acceptable management of the continent’s forest resources, while also guaranteeing maximum benefits for conservation efforts of communities and states in the form of carbon credit concession.
Governor Ayade also stressed the need to strengthen the state Forestry Commission as a key player in the implementation of the UN-REDD program, stating that the Commission is saddled with the statutory authority of management of the forest and sued for greater synergy with the UN-REDD PLUS, especially in areas of retraining, capacity building and skills transfer.
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