The Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF), through support from the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and Global Environment Facility, Small Grant Programme (GEF- SGP) is re-defining forest management, conservation of landscape and rural livelihoods in selected forest-edge communities of Ebok, Kabakken and Ebranta in Boje, Boki Local Government Area of Cross Rivers State.
Community forest contributes to the sustainable livelihoods of millions of rural people living in developing nations. Thus, community involvement has the potential to improve the effectiveness, efficiency and provide more co-benefits from REDD+ project, according to a Quick News Africa report.
In 2017, NCF, with the support of GEF-SGP set up the Community-Based REDD+ programme (CBR+) to promote activities that boost poverty eradication, promotion of improved crop varieties and yields, gender empowerment, biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation and adaptation.
Through this funding, Ebok, Kabakken and Ebranta communities cultivated two acres of land respectively with improved cassava stem cuttings, set-up cassava processing mills, cultivation and domestication of Afang Gnetum africanum by community members and harvesting of Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) – bush mango (Irvingia gabonensis) as part of efforts to reduce forest loss through improved agricultural practices.
Proceeds of the harvest were shared among women and youth in the communities to supplement their income. In addition to the cassava, vegetable and NTFPs cultivation, the three communities commenced the cultivation of cocoayam on two acres each using improved farming methods and multiplication of planting materials (mini-set technology). In order to restore and cope with the impact of landslide-affected community forests, 4,000 tree seedlings raised by the beneficiary communities were planted to restore degraded forests.
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