Deforestation And Climate Change In Nigeria Essay

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Policy Brief – Deforestation and Climate Change in Nigeria
The Problem:
Deforestation is one of the largest global environmental issues. Deforestation is the mass clearing of forestland, often due to farming and logging. Farming clears forests for large areas of crops and animal grazing. Logging cuts down trees to produce paper products.1
From 2000 to 2005, Nigeria had about 56 percent of forestland lost from deforestation. Nearly 38 percent of forest cover was lost from 1990 to 2005.2 The annual rate of deforestation is 3.5 percent. This rate is equivalent to about 350,000 hectares (one hectare is equal to 10,000 square meters).3 In Nigeria, unregulated logging is a cause of deforestation, which is largely an issue of government inaction.
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A social determinant is its impact on impoverished communities. Deforestation affects the low-income populations that depend on wood for fuel. With the growing loss of forests, these Nigerian communities will suffer. Ogunwale, A.O. in “Deforestation and Greening the Nigerian Environment,” suggests some social reasons for concern that should be considered by policy leaders. In lower income communities in Nigeria, people are more concerned about their daily lives than about the future. Individuals care about feeding themselves and their families, having a safe place to live, and surviving until the next day. Little thought is given to the impact their actions are having on the environment. This perpetuates the issue of deforestation, as these communities are unaware and uninterested in making an effort to improve long-term environmental concerns. …show more content…
Production plays a major role in the Nigerian economy. However, the climate change feedback loop will severely influence economic development. As more forests are mass cleared, more greenhouse gasses are absorbed into the atmosphere. When this happens, global temperatures rise and there is less precipitation. The combination of warmer climates and less rain leads to desertification. Desertification is the drying of previously fertile land. In Nigeria, there is a rising trend of desertification. Approximately one fifth of Nigerian land is gradually becoming desertified.6 Policy leaders should be interested in the rise of desertification, because once land is infertile, it is very difficult to replace. Deforestation leads to desertification. The more forests are cleared, the less land is available for future economic need.
There are also political determinants that affect policy change. Currently, the Nigerian government has little regulation over forest clearing for agriculture use and logging. Though some policies are in place, the government has not yet enforced these rules. Currently, there are policies to regulate forest clearing. However, many communities do not abide by them. For example. Ogunwale, previously introduced, completed research that shows 56 percent of the respondents to his study said they still used wood as their source of fuel, despite current rules and regulations.

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