The Legal and Policy Frameworks on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) Mechanism in Nigeria

International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science (IJRISS) | Volume II, Issue XI, November 2018 | ISSN 2454–6186

The Legal and Policy Frameworks on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) Mechanism in Nigeria 

Dr. B. Christopher Hia

Abstract: – The Nigerian ecosystem and biodiversity are threatened by climate change as a result of anthropogenic factors like lumbering, logging, felling of trees with attendant consequences. Other factors that have deleterious impacts on the ecosystem include: desertification, drought, overgrazing and over exploitation of marginal lands. There are series of international legal instruments on climate change that have been ratified by Nigeria, such as; United Nations Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), 1992, the United Nations Convention on Biodiversity (UNCBD), 1992, the Kyoto Protocol, 1997 and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, 2015 among others. All these instruments recognised the fact that deforestation and environmental degradation have negative impacts on the ecosystem and that Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation plus Conservation, Sustainable Management of Forests and Enhancement of Forests Stocks (REDD+) can reduce these impacts of climate change as well as promote adaptation and mitigation in developing countries like Nigeria. Apart from ratifying some of these treaties, Nigeria has participated in climate change negotiations and has submitted its first and second communications in 2003 and 2014 respectively to the UNFCCC and her Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change in 2014. There are existing laws and policies on forestry and conservation such a the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), the National Environmental Standards and Regulations (NESREA) Act, 2007, the National Parks Act, 2004 and the Endangered Species Act, 2004. There are also forestry laws and policies in the thirty six states of the federation and Abuja the Federal Capital Territory aimed at minimising deforestation and desertification in Nigeria.
The effective implementation of these laws and policies at the federal, states and local government levels in Nigeria are hampered by legal and policy hurdles stemming from obsolete laws, land tenure issues, lack of capacity, finance, technology and the political will to implement REDD+ in Nigeria. It is strongly recommended that Nigeria should amend and harmonise her existing laws and policies on REDD+ in line with international reality.

KEY WORDS: Deforestation, Degradation, Afforestation and Reforestation

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