Chief Edwin Ogar Ekuri Initiative, Nigeria: Community Based Benefits Sharing from the Ekuri Community Forest, Nigeria.
Community Based Benefits Sharing from the Ekuri Community Forest, Nigeria Nigeria Nigeria is a populated country with about 170 million people, 250 languages and consist of 36 States and one is Cross River State Nigeria has five types of ecological zones Mangrove Tropical forest Savannah Semi arid zone Arid
Cross River State Map Cross River state has 18 Local Government Areas (LGAs) with three types of Ecological Zones: Mangrove Tropical forest Savannah
Ekuri community Consist of Old Ekuri and New Ekuri villages and is situated in tropical forest eco-zone Sandwich between Ukpon Forest Reserve and Cross River National Park, Iko Esai and Okokori, Etara/Eyeyeng community forests to W and NE. Belong to Nkukoli tribe and speaks Lokoli. Predominantly are peasant farmers and forest gatherers Population of 6,000 Joint owners of the rich biological diverse Ekuri community forest 33,600ha
Conceived the idea of community forestry in 1982 Started formal community forestry in 1992 and established the Ekuri Initiative as an NGO with focus on conservation, sustainable forest management, community development and poverty reduction. Generated incomes from the forest, other internal income sources and grants. Benefits sharing from Ekuri community forest Community facilities, individuals, neighbours, government and the global community
Community Facilities Construction of a 40km dirt road, all culverts and bridges to both Ekuri villages Part funding of a health centre Equipment and furnishing of the health centre Building of a six classroom and furnishing Refurbishment of classroom building and furnishing. Building of a civic centre Maintenance of facilities
Vehicle to ease evacuation of forest and farm products to markets. Availability of forest resources Inclusive community forest governance Local, national and international recognition of activities Proceeds from timber harvesting by the Ekuri Initiative Deepen the preservation of traditions and culture Pragmatic and sustainable activities
Benefits to individuals: Skills development of youths and women in prioritized areas Literacy improvements/awards of scholarships Farm inputs to farmers Micro-credit scheme Health subsidy for the vulnerable Wood subsidy Seed capital – animal farming Jobs creation through adding value to farm products
Regular incomes from NTFPs Availability of NTFPs to neighboring communities Water for downstream communities Health improvements through the use of herbs strengthening application of indigenous knowledge. Improvements of knowledge in the community Reduction in poverty Improved social status of individuals Strong social coherence
Government Permit fees – timber and NTFPs Contributions to CBD, UNFCCC Global community: Climate change mitigation Others environmental services – water, air, stabilization of the soil and erosion control, biodiversity etc.
How benefits sharing for individuals are implemented in Ekuri Community. Eleven Etuoh (maternal lineages) exist Each Etuoh selects and forward names of beneficiaries to each Ekuri village Equitable benefits sharing among Etuoh Promotes social cohesion devoid of external divide and rule Considerably enhanced sustainability Ekuri villagers inalienable rights to use of NTFPs/herbs.
Challenges: Some unsatisfied persons clamoring for more benefits Propensity by some for more benefits sharing for individuals against capital projects. Interest of few to log the forest individually for self gains. illegal forest lease of this forest Logging moratorium since 2008 Un-sustained supports from outside Threat of encroachments by 2 community neighbors. High maintenance costs of vehicle due to old age Poverty
How these are resolved or addressed: General Assembly (GA) of the Ekuri Initiative Prioritized needs as approved by the GA are implemented or reviewed. Convention of Nkukoli nation Court cases/supreme sacrifice by the six Looking inward for sustainability of activities Peer to peer conservation in neighboring communities. END SHIEMORE (Thank you in Lokoli)
END C/o NGOCE, 65 Ndidem Usang Iso Road, Calabar – Cross River State, Nigeria. Phone: +234 803 546 1507 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org@yahoo.com www.ekuriinitiative.org