Local initiative mitigating Climate change, deforestation in Cross Rivers

Bucho Community in Boki Local Government Area of Cross State is beginning to mitigate the effect of climate and deforestation it has suffered for decades using local initiative.

The community in 2012 suffered a landslide that led to the destruction of farmlands, while the ecosystem and vegetation are fast disappearing as a result of deforestation that is been carried out by illegal lodgers.

The situation that the community inhabitants say is affecting the rural farmers pushing them to poverty and frustration as they continue to experience poor farm yield, which is hugely affecting their income.

The local farmers who spoke to MAWA Foundation, say they had for many years taken farming as a lucrative business that has the capacity to enable them to generate good income. They, however, said they are worried because of the environmental crisis thrown at them by climate change that is being triggered by deforestation is hugely impacting on their farm and affecting their income.

“For years now, we have known farming to be very lucrative, we have made huge income from it, but the recent environmental crisis thrown at us, is making us loss farm yields that are pushing us into poverty”,  the locals said.

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The locals say the community that is among other settlements surrounding the Afi Rainforest, has come under threat as a result of deforestation by illegal loggers that are contributing to huge biodiversity loss and threat to the indigenous people’s livelihood.

Local initiative solution

Biakwan Light Green Initiative, a local initiative is working to mitigate the impact of climate and environmental hazards in the area. Carrying out the initiative, the organization identified and selected young persons who work to ensure proper forest management and a reduction of environmental hazards.

The community initiative is a not-for-profit organization that is a member of the Cross Rivers State anti-deforestation coalition. It works to ensure an end to illegal logging using effective forest policies in local communities. It carries out advocacy campaigns that create climate change awareness and mitigation among rural people.

Part of the approach adopted by the local initiative is its Climate Smart Agriculture, an innovation that is helping to restore the depleting forest in selected Afi communities that are mainly suffering environmental hazards.

The locals while commending the initiative, say it has trained them on the importance of conservation and forest protection.

Using the initiative, about 10,000 trees have been planted to prevent erosion as part of an effort to mitigate climate change and ensure forest restoration.

At the moment, 50 residents made up of 30 women and 20 men have been trained, and are now climate change advocates, educating the rural communities on climate change mitigation, forest management, and protection.

Mr. Peter Orubette, the initiative pioneer, speaking on the success story, says residents now champion climate change mitigation and are planting trees to save the environment.

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