Reforestation in Nigeria: History, current practice and future perspectives
AbstractNigeria, a country in West Africa, sits on the Atlantic coast with a land area of approximately 90 million hectares and a population of more than 140 million people. The southern part of the country falls within the tropical rainforest which has now been largely depleted and is in dire need of reforestation. About 10 percent of the land area was constituted into forest reserves for purposes of conservation but this has suffered perturbations over the years to the extent that what remains of the constituted forest reserves currently is less than 4 percent of the country land area. As at today about 382,000 ha have been reforested with indigenous and exotic species representing about 4 percent of the remaining forest estate. Regrettably, funding of the Forestry sector in Nigeria has been critically low, rendering reforestation programme near impossible, especially in the last two decades. To revive the forestry sector government at all levels must re-strategize and involve the local communities as co-managers of the forest estates in order to create mutual dependence and interaction in resource conservation.
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