Laws, Policies and Strategies

Law 3 of 2010 - Forestry Commission Law

Establishes the Cross River State Forest Commission as a body corporate, defines its functions and powers, and clarifies its administration and operations. It also provides guidance on the management of forests, concessions, and community based forest, land use planning, afforestation, and enforcement through community enforcement officers in collaboration with government. However, the Forestry Law’s most significant provisions have not been implemented (and have no implementing regulations). This Law also defines the roles and responsibilities of all the potential stakeholders and beneficiaries of forest resources in the state. It provides all the procedures, processes and checks and balances necessary to ensure that all of the existing and potential benefits from the state’s forest resources contribute directly to the well–being of the people of CRS. It also enabled the government to allocate “carbon concessions” in the states forests [as well as biodiversity offsets, eco-tourism and watershed protection concessions.

Law No. 19 2007 - This Law establishes the Cross River State Investment Promotion Bureau as a body corporate, defines its functions and powers, and provides with respect to its administration and operations. The law also concerns registration of enterprises, investment policy and settlement of disputes between an investor and the Cross River State Government.

Law No. 17 of 2007 - This Law establishes the Cross River State Rural Development Agency as a body corporate, defines its functions and provides with respect to its administration and operation

Cross River State Strategy to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) This strategy was approved in 2017 and officially launched at COP 23 in Bonn. CRS developed their REDD+ strategy following the submission of Nigeria’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) to the UNFCCC in 2015. The CRS REDD+ Strategy is aligned to the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) of Nigeria, the National REDD+ Framework Strategy, and the State’s draft 30-Year Growth and Development Strategy. The REDD+ sectors in this Strategy include agriculture and energy. The geographic coverage of the strategy includes all agro-ecological zones (AEZs) of CRS – Rainforest, Montane forest, Savannah and Mangrove/swamp.

In addition, the Strategy is linked to the country’s approach to safeguards. As part of this, an analysis of the risks and benefits of a set of proposed policies and measures were considered as part of the REDD+ Strategy development by the National Safeguards Working Group.

As a pilot, Cross River State’s REDD+ Strategy is intended to inform the national strategy and serve as a model for other states – a platform for learning and structural planning for REDD+ preparedness and implementation in other parts of Nigeria. It was developed after extensive consultation from 2014- 2017.

Institutional Framework

Ministry of Environment - formulates and implements policies for the protection of the natural environment against pollution and degradation.

Ministry of Lands - responsible for establishing a land management and housing system that will provide a sustainable living environment for its citizen. Responsible for developing land registry for properties and issuing titles.

Ministry of Climate Change & Forestry CRS -Established with a mandate of initiating and driving Climate Change mitigation activities in Cross River State, the Ministry of Climate Change and Forestry works to ensure that government objectives of regenerating and protecting the forest and its natural resources are achieved. The institution charged with the implementation of the UN-REDD programme in CRS with support from the CRS forestry Commission and the Nigerian Federal ministry of Environment. The Ministry was created in November 2015 to articulate policies and strategies on climate change adaptation and mitigation by ensuring efficient utilization of the State forestry potentials. The Ministry also provides oversight on the operations of CRS Forestry Commission and the Department of Forestry, Biodiversity & Conservation. The Commission draws its powers from CRS Law No. 11 of 2011. Key activities involving adaptation include alternative means of livelihood, Clean Energy Programme, Renewable & Non-Renewable Energy and Green economy. For mitigation we have tree planting, nursery development, community-based forest monitoring and protection.

Vision statement: To be a key driver of activities in climate change adaptation, mitigation and resilience in line with global conventions.

Mission statement: To play a major role in the mitigation of climate change in the State using sustainable actions and regulatory frameworks.

Zoning and Spatial Planning

Cross River State does not have its own spatial or zoning plan. At the national level land use planning is guided by the Land Use Act of 1978. While there is no central spatial or land use plan for the entire country, there are 445 gazetted forest reserves covering 2.7 million ha, 7 national parks covering 2.509 million ha, and approximately 2.7 million ha of forest land that are 'free' or community forests (non gazzetted)

Engagement and Participation with Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities

The CBR+ programme in Cross River has funded 12 civil society organizations for 12 community-based projects. Several trainings were conducted to enable CSOs, including NGOs and Community Based Organizations to design and implement projects linked to the REDD+ readiness process and also build the capacity of forest dependent communities to address drivers and participate in the REDD+ process. Thus, the design of the various CBR+ projects provided a platform for community engagement and empowerment for active participation in the national REDD+ processes, particularly, in developing the REDD+ strategy for CRS. Together, the projects cover a range of issues, including i) Sustainable Forest Management/Biodiversity conservation; ii) Capacity Development to engage in climate change mitigation processes, including REDD+; iii) Sustainable Livelihoods to combat poverty; and iv) energy.

With support from the GCF, Cross River State has also conducted community trainings to involve local communities in the state MRV system.