Is Nigeria Losing War Against Deforestation?

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CHIKA OKEKE writes that increasing deforestation throughout the country is a factor contributing to loss of habitat for countless species.

Although it is estimated that Nigeria is losing 1.5 million trees every day due to illegal logging, deforestation rates of 3.5% per year are considered to be the highest in the world.

Researchers also showed that 80% of terrestrial animals and plants of the globe live in forests, even when they are fighting for survival because of deforestation that destroys their homes.

Conclusions of LEADERSHIP indicate that the removal of trees without sufficient reforestation led to the loss of habitat and biodiversity to a countless number of species.

This also indicates that the decreasing number of trees observed in different states puts the population at risk from climate change, such as extreme weather, sea level rise, floods, drought and acid rain, which currently threaten people's health and animals,

With the dense forests of the country, indicated in the states of Bayels, Crest River, Ekiti, Osun, Ondo, Rivers, Taraba and Edo, these states account for more than 50 percent of the tree cover.

According to the WWF Living Forest report, inability to address climate change problems can now lead to the destruction of 170 million hectares of forest, as well as loss of biodiversity and livelihoods by 2030.

However, a similar report by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) noted that the annual rate of deforestation in Nigeria increased astronomically, regardless of how the federal governments froze wood production.

He stressed that different types of human activity explain the changing global climate, especially the increased concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere due to the reduction of forests.

Further findings hinted that globally only forest losses contributed to about 20 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, especially carbon, that contributed to global warming and climate change.

He also stressed that more than 50 percent The remaining tropical forests in Nigeria were located in the only state of the Cross River.

This is the recent study by environmentalists, which shows that the forest cover of Nigeria declined from 16 percent in 2000 to 11 percent in 2014, while areas covered by agricultural land increased from 25 percent to 30 percent over the same period.

Despite the Ministry of the Environment aimed at stopping illegal logging of trees, in the war against sharp jumps in the forest.

To this end, environmentalists noted the lack of awareness of the importance of forests as one of the leading factors preventing deforestation.

The founder of the Struggle Against the Struggle against the Desert (FADE), Dr. Newton Djibunoh, said that the increase in climate change will lead to massive land degradation and deforestation.

The expert-ecologist noted that forests will play a decisive role in helping countries achieve their NDC in order to support the fight against climate change.

He noted that the importance of trees in climate stabilization should not be substituted if the federal government is keen on implementing the National Deterministic Contributions (NDC) and the Paris Agreement on limiting global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius.

It even emphasizes that deforestation, land degradation and land-use change account for more than 12 percent of all greenhouse gas (GH) emissions on the planet.

Djibuno said that climate scientists are optimistic that investing in forests and trees can reduce poverty, ensure sustainable development and provide vital local and global environmental services for the planet.

He listed institutions that should actively participate in climate change negotiations as non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations, the private sector, individuals and the government.

Djibuno recalled that the organization was a rifleman behind the campaign against the construction of the 220-kilometer Cross River superhighways in the community forest of Ekuri in the state.

Mangrove forests also grow along the coast and the delta of Nigeria and are found in all coastal states such as Aqua-Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Lagos, Ogun, Ondo and Rivers.

The preservation of this category of forest was defined as an addition to the afforestation program in the country.

Conservative National Park Service (NPS) Alhaji Ibrahim Goni called for early intervention and effective conservation of mangrove forests to reverse the alarming rate of deforestation in the country.

Goni begged the public to minimize activities that could lead to land degradation, loss of soil fertility, deforestation, depletion of biodiversity and coastal areas, and erosion of river banks.

He noted that plans are currently being developed for mangrove forests in Bayels to limit the depletion and loss of species of animals and plants in Nigeria.

Goni claimed that the continuous exploitation of forests led to the continued reduction of Nigerian forests for several years.

He lamented that the use of forests for agricultural development, collection of fuel wood, excavation, mining, exploitation of minerals, urbanization and uncontrolled cleaning worsened the severity of the issue.

Goni explained that mangroves an extremely productive ecosystem that provides a variety of goods and services to the marine environment and people.

Declaring that mangroves are the birthplace of large varieties of plants, fish, crabs, shrimp and shellfish, he stressed that he also serves as nursery for animal species.

The KG stated that forests derived from mangrove forests are resistant to decay and insects, which are extremely valuable.

According to him, "the dense root system of mangrove forests prevents precipitation, flows along rivers and on land, and also helps stabilize the coastline and prevents erosion from waves and storms."

He added other benefits of mangrove forests as water filtration, coastal erosion prevention, coastal storm protection, carbon storage, food, timber, livelihoods and biodiversity protection.

Goni noted that mangrove culture was recognized as the first line of defense on the coast, so it is of great value.

Shortly before assuming the post of Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ms. Amina Mohammed opened a 23-member national emergency committee on afforestation to end illegal tree felling and improve forest cover in Nigeria.

Members of the committee were selected in all the ministries of environment, trade and investment, the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), finance, water resources, science and technology, as well as representatives of Ogun, Taraba, the governments of the Cross River member states and others.

Mohammed said that 3.5 percent of the deforestation rate per year is unacceptable if Nigeria must achieve sustainable development and environmental sustainability.

She stated that the forests were degraded at an alarming rate due to intensive timber harvesting for the domestic and export markets, extensive farming practices, conversion of forest land to other uses, expansion of the infrastructure corridor through forest estates and crime in the forest.

According to her, this led to a reduction in forest cover from 10 percent of the country's territory with independence to less than five it is now said that the committee will dig deep to find a solution to the crisis to protect the environment.

She confirmed that the National Assembly had established an investigative committee to resolve the crisis of deforestation.

The United Nations Development Group (DSG) stated that the suspension of the issuance of CITES permits for three months was to provide a favorable period for the Ministry to develop a strategic direction for combating forest degradation and deforestation in the country.

In an effort to reduce deforestation, the federal government reported that it attracted the services of the forest industry and development partners in the reforestation / afforestation program.

The Minister of the Environment of the State of Mallam Ibrahim Jibril promised to give priority to actions aimed at mitigating the effects of climate change and adaptation, noting that planting trees and sustainable management of forest reserves and trees outside the forest landscape are important for environmental sustainability.

He said that the government had developed strategies to control timber exports and promoted the conservation of forests using the CITEC tool, noting that the ministry was actively involving development partners from the Korean Embassy in the field of afforestation.

Jibril listed other strategies as a first-ever sovereign green bond in order to gain access to reforestation and afforestation funds, and to establish a national afforestation committee to address deforestation in the country.

The minister urged the public to stop deforestation, even when it challenged stakeholders to raise awareness about sustainable forest conservation for the future generation.

He noted that the "Archive of the Solar Cookhouse System-2011" says that the consumption of fuelwood in Nigeria is about 87 percent, saying that the daily consumption of firewood by rural communities is estimated at 27.5 million Kg / day.

The minister called for an urgent transition to alternative sources of cooking, such as an improved cooker, liquefied natural gas, even when he called for an increase in the plantation of forest plots in communities and individual farms, avoiding the indiscriminate burning of bushes and illegal felling of trees, / Rural tree planting near the roadside.

The minister insisted that the federal government had taken measures to activate environmental education in schools and introduce new programs to inform the public about the preservation of forests and the participation of communities in an effort to reduce pressure on forests due to the production of fuelwood.

Jibril pleaded with all levels of government, the corporate and private sectors, civil society groups, and Nigerians to join forces with the federal government in their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote adaptation to climate change.

He said that the federal government, through its national contributions (NDC), has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent, and 45 percent unconditionally through external support by 2030.


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