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The story of REDD+ in Nigeria: A critical view of the participation of forest-dependent communities

Izoukumor, Noah; Razzaque, Jona


Noah Izoukumor


The Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) programme aims to reduce carbon emissions and improve forest degradation in developing countries. This paper analyses the extent of the involvement of forest-dependent communities in REDD+ activities in Nigeria. Drawing on insights from policy documents and scholarly research, we sought to understand the rationale behind involving forest-dependent communities in all stages of the REDD+ programme and the obstacles that impede local engagement in Nigeria. We draw on participatory approaches and our focus is on assessing the likely impacts of REDD+ activities on local forest practices, the livelihoods of forest-dependent communities and the concerns related to the misappropriation of forest benefits. First, we show that the effectiveness of the REDD+ programme in Nigeria hinges on the integration of local forest management practices employed by forest-dependent communities like Ekuri, who have a longstanding history of preserving forests. Second, we argue that to enhance the engagement of forest-dependent communities in REDD+ activities, a blend of strong participatory rights and deliberative democratic approaches that integrate relational values and embrace local forest practices is needed. These approaches, when combined, foster participation of forest-dependent communities and enrich not only Nigeria but also other countries of the global south facing similar challenges.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 26, 2024
Deposit Date Jul 7, 2024
Print ISSN 0954-8890
Electronic ISSN 1755-1609
Publisher Edinburgh University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Forest; Nigeria; Climate Change; REDD+; REDD+ Readiness Programme; local engagement; forest-dependent communities
Public URL