Nigeria, 14 ECOWAS States To Benefit From $8m Forest Protection Project – FAO
The Food and Agriculture Organization, FAO of the United nations announced on Tuesday that Nigeria and 14 other ECOWAS countries are to benefit from an eight-million-dollar five-year forest protection project.
The world body said that three agencies, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), FAO and the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS had joined forces to protect West Africa’s forests to help safeguard the livelihoods of millions of people, depending on them.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, the organisation named Nigeria, Togo, Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali, Sierra Leone, Ghana and other ECOWAS states as the beneficiaries of the planned support programme.
It said the three institutions would carry out project, aimed at strengthening sustainable forest and land management.
They would also address trans-boundary forest threats to maximize the livelihoods of forest-dependent communities.
FAO’s Chief of Forestry Policy and Resources Division, Tiina Vahanen, said the project would be key to the rolling out of the ECOWAS-led Convergence Plan for the Sustainable Management and Use of Forest Ecosystems in West Africa.
“The ECOWAS-led Convergence Plan was adopted in 2013 by ECOWAS. It seeks to mobilise support to address trans-boundary forest issues across the 15 member states.”
He described the project as a concrete step towards improving the forest management in the region that would build on the momentum created in recent years to safeguard West Africa’s forests.
Sida’s Head of Regional Development Cooperation in sub-Saharan Africa, Mr Ulla Andrén, said the project to be implemented by ECOWAS would be financed by Sida with over eight million dollars while the FAO would give technical support.
He described the project as not only important for the people and governments of the region but also crucial for the global effort to stop climate change and loss of bio-diversity.