AMID the shocking fact that deforestation is the largest source of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions in Nigeria and responsible for 40 per cent of national Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is finalizing a Global Environment Facility (GEF) driven project worth $4.4 million that would promote sustainable forest use and management practices at national and state level across the country.
The project titled “Sustainable Fuel wood Management in Nigeria”, aims at reducing poverty, the degradation of basic social indicators, and setting the country on a pathway to sustainable development .
It is also targeted at assisting a public-private partnership – Nigerian Alliance for Clean Cook stoves, which is developing a package of policies with Federal Government in support of clean cook stove and fuel market, to introduce 10 million fuel-efficient stoves to Nigerian homes and institutions by 2020.
To promote the project, a two – day stakeholders’ review and validation workshop organised by UNDP Nigeria was held in Kaduna recently. The executing partners under the programme are Federal Ministry of Environment, Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN), Federal Ministry of Health, and Nigerian Alliance for Improved Cook stoves. The programme attracted senior government officials from state and federal agencies and ministries, private firms, non-governmental Organisations and media organisations.
The National Coordinator, UNDP-GEF Energy Efficiency Programme, Etiosa Uyigue explained that the overall objective is to secure multiple environmental and socio-economic benefits, including reduced GHG emission from wood fuel consumption, enhanced carbon storage and sequestration, as well as improved rural livelihoods and opportunities for local development.
Uyigue lamented that there is a number of domestic clean cook stove manufacturers in Nigeria, still local production capacities remain limited, often do not provide adequate quality of the products, and requires expensive imports, which drive costs up. Under the project, he said there would be business plan for clean cook stove manufacturing zone prepared to scale-up production and reduce costs to ensure unit cost of improved cook stove reduced down to at most N2, 000.
He said that the project, which will be kick-started with pilot projects in Kaduna, Cross River and Delta states increased penetration of improved/alternative energy technologies for domestic needs in targeted communities by at least 20 per cent through Cook stove distribution programme implemented (at least 20,000 improved cook stoves). It will also provide roadmap for the phase-out of traditional cook stoves adopted, including policies, regulations and financial incentives to promote replication of prioritized and tested low-carbon alternatives to traditional cook stoves adopted and enforced.
Under the project, there will be standards and certification system for cook stove in place and is operational at national level, training for households, especially women, on clean energy technologies as well as policies that would be promoting clean energy solution and domestic manufacturing proposed. It is also proposing monitoring system for fuel wood production and consumption as well as incentives for forest conservation/sustainable energy use.
The GEF Focal Point and Director in the Federal Ministry of Environment, Mr. Yomi Ladipo, who was represented by Hafsat Ahmed Suleiman noted that emission of greenhouse gas into the atmosphere may pose a challenge to the environment and human health, hence the need to reduce emission to the barest minimum.
A representative of ECN, Mr. Okon Ekpeyong, an engineer, disclosed that one of their research activity has been to develop improved wood stove. “If we allow everybody to cut trees, there will be desertification, “ he said.
He said that Energy Commission Nigeria has established a National Clean Cook stoves Development and Testing Laboratory, which will assist in developing technical standards for stoves, provides testing and certification services.
The Head, Mitigation Unit, Climate Change Department, Delta State Ministry of Environment, Mr. Andrew Ojeblenu said that the state has developed Eco-stove that reduces the use of fuel food to 70 per cent, adding that the project will help them to curtail climate change, which is being promoted through the Reducing Emissions form Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) programme.
[By Chinedum Uwaegbulam, Guardian)