Rainforest degradation in southern Nigeria: role of forestry institutions

Isikhuemen, Ekeoba Matthew (2014). Rainforest degradation in southern Nigeria: role of forestry institutions. UNU-INRA Working Paper. UNU-INRA.

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  • Sub-type Working paper
    Author Isikhuemen, Ekeoba Matthew
    Editor Asubonteng, Kwabena O.
    Nutakor, Praise
    Saccoh, Karamzo
    Title Rainforest degradation in southern Nigeria: role of forestry institutions
    Series Title UNU-INRA Working Paper
    Volume/Issue No. No. 7
    Publication Date 2014
    Place of Publication Accra
    Publisher UNU-INRA
    Pages viii, 54 pages
    Language eng
    Abstract

    The exclusionary ‘top-down’ and management models that were introduced by the colonial administration in the governance of Nigeria’s rainforest over a century ago have endured till present day in the federal and state forestry services. From the establishment of the Nigerian Forestry Department (FD) towards the end of the 20th century, the post-independence era through to contemporary times; the exploitation of Nigeria’s most diverse forest under the guise of sustainable forest management went through a range of management regimes. Timber Rules, Proclamations and Ordinances are all based on the colonial models. For over a century, the country’s forest policies and institutional frameworks have been designed towards boosting revenues or economic fortunes of the state. Sadly, all forestry policies enunciated in the past, and indeed up to contemporary times, were subsumed within the bureaucratic civil service system that relies basically on ‘fences and fines approach’. Also, is the belligerent and divisive land tenure and land use systems, that were heaved upon the people through Ordinances during the colonial era and also by the 1978 Land Use Act. These policies did not only nationalised all lands in Nigeria authoritatively, but also made excruciating impacts on both the rainforest and the people whose livelihoods are dependent on it. Over time, the rainforest ecosystem has been progressively turned into mere vestiges – triggering irreversible damage to species and ecosystems; and weakening the livelihood systems of forest-dependent populations. While it is imperative to replace the obsolete policies and incongruent institutional frameworks at all levels of government with good participatory governance, intensified efforts should be made towards confronting direct drivers of rainforest degradation (e.g. surge in human population) and other cross-cutting elements in the rainforest degradation equation.

    Keyword Rainforest degradation
    Governance
    Institution reforms
    Policies and legal reforms
    Forestry policy
    Land tenure
    Copyright Holder UNU-INRA
    Copyright Year 2014
    Copyright type Fair use permitted
    ISBN 9789988633370
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