July 18, 2016


 Desertification springs deforestation is a major problem in the country especially in the north and requires urgent attention of the regulatory authorities.The article below sheds light on its growing trends, and general impact in the land including the geographical and environmental ecosystem potentials of the country .
The terrifying growth rate of modern economy has reached a breath taking pace as human and commercial activities ‘spiral takes on a new life on its own  ,even beyond the  control of human arts itself - its immediate inventor .It has taken a new dimension entirely in this volatile modern age as well as relentlessly  competing against the very environment that underpins its  growth  and human existence .Nevertheless , this positive development has not come without its side effect ,fiercely competitive ,exerting undue pressure on the hapless environment ,gullible with ominous , fast encroaching menace , ill bred  protrusive velocity and mired with negative implications that could declare entire race of mankind an ‘’  endangered species’’ even  before  our very eyes, it is becoming a near possibility.The environment basically  as referred to as’’ life support system’’ by climate change scientists and environmental right activists  is  being overstressed and major implications such as deforestation and desertification seem to get out of hand ,coasting home nebula and turning what was once a country of beautiful plains and rich natural ecosystem  into suburbs and enclave of plain desert land .
However,it is not for nothing that in 2005 according to Food and Agriculture Organisation-FAO ,that Nigeria has the highest rate of deforestation in the world .That between 2000 and 2005 ,approximately 55.7 percent  of the country ‘s primary forest have been lost and the rate of forest change ballooned by between 31.2percent and 31.12 percent  respectively .On the other hand ,the main causes of this fast growing threat to human life .can be narrowed down to several factors such as poor government policy ,poor and insensitive regulatory regime,poorly performing public institutions ,public penury or mass poverty  respectively .
The increasing rate of logging, timber export , and proliferation of unsustainable subsistence farming in addition to collection of wood for fuel  can be noted to constitute a pathetic thorn in the flesh of  a wobbling economy fueling ecological threat against mankind in general .This boils  down to the fact without a sensitive policy and regulatory regime articulated  by sensitive government  and efficient public institutions ,it could be difficult to avert and a peril that could render a nation bankrupt ,unleashing its terror of public penury  as people clamour for survival.
Between 1990 and 2000,the nation lost  over 409,700,000 hectares   of forest on the average per annum . This is based on the average  of 2.38 percent deforestation rate  during the period under review .And between 1990 and 2005 ,it lost an aggregate of 35.7 percent of its forest cover  equal to 6.145,000 hectares of rich ecosystem .In 2005 , about 12.2 percent ,the equivalent of 11,089,000 hectares were deforested .The truth is:when you cut down vegetation  for no obvious reasons be it economic ,social and without any replanting  or immediate reforestation plan ,what is perpetrated popularly known  as deforestation is on its own a crime against humanity .With dire implication  for human survival and the legion effect that it has on the human environment  such as decline of biodiversity systems ,Soil erosion ,growth of desertification and above all global warming , there is no need to gainsay the fact  it is the worst threat to our dear existence under sun .
Consequently ,the quality of life index and general standard of living perpetually declines .Why would a country that is located in the western hemisphere of Africa lost a whooping 55.7 percent  of  its first tier primary forest  in five years ? Little wonder ,according to one medical Doctor ,over 64 million Nigerians suffer from at least  one form of mental  disorder or the other and this cannot be eschewed from  the fact that  public penury can lead a person to depression  from frustration and then spiral of mental disorder .As long as people are poor and  with the will to survive in a country that cared less for them ,this trend would continue .So ,it may mean that in less than two decades , the entire geographical landscape that we live today would soon be totally deforested  and heavily desertified .There are so many parlous but reliable indices that show that this country cannot survive and not even an irrational element like a toddler could deny this fact laid bare before our very eyes .
Primary forest according to Mongabay is defined as :’’ forests with no visible signs of  past or present  human activities’’(Wikipedia].According food and agriculture Organisation-FAO ,the standard annual deforestation rate is 3.5 percent ,  translates to 350,000 hectares  to 400,000 hectares  .The study also lists solution,resolution tips  and requirement for sustainable forest management  and this includes legal ,institutional  and policy framework , extent of forest resources ,forest health vitality  and socioeconomic  functions  This secondary tips can be possible  and well implemented  for the umpteenth time only  by moral absorption of the earlier  noted primary  factors .and can go along way to help stimulate the integrity of the human persons and political entities ,holding ace as verve against this bankruptcy of moral sanity and acatalectic animosity against nature –their very immediate  life support system ,struggling for survival  .
Of course ,we know is a proven fact that as deforestation protrudes its momentum , desertification in like manner ,also escalates its  terrifying proportion fully visible and manifested in a fast encroaching deserts –a degeneration of once a  fertile land ,fueling growth in temperature .Another study conducted also shows  that while global mean or average  increase in temperature stood at only  0.74 degree Celsius recorded between 1990 t0 2005 ,the average but equivalent increase in the country stood at 1.1 degree Celsius centigrade .The amount of rainfall  during the same period also declined by 81 mm with both trends experiencing  simultaneous cumulative  sharp changes in the 1970s .
Nigeria is known to have 1,417 proven species of fauna and about 4,715 species of vascular plants according to World Conservation Monitoring Group .Inspite of increase in the population of national parks and game reserves ,only 36 percent according to Wikipedia under IUCN Categories I-V,  is protected .Similarly ,only very concrete steps have been taken to curb alarming increase of  illegal logging  and fast encroaching nature of deforestation .And hardly no conservation or no education of such is undertaken  to curb the menace to cut across the demography and communities steep in absolute ignorance about the optimal value of  the natural capital assets significance to mankind .This number increases by the day of those not aware of what to do  or how to adequately manage the finite resources and Little  wonder why the  degenerative spiral  had persisted for decades .Moreso ,as no attempt has been made by  successive governments and state department of forestry   to implement forest management policies since 1970s.
Given the fact that 90 percent of Nigerian population  depends or rely heavily on kerosene as most common and main source of energy for cooking and due to its expensive nature and not easily available ,this ecological threat would continue as people turn to alternatives such as wood.And  so due to its scarcity and unavailability ,60 percent turn to felling  of  forest woods and trees for fuel wood for the purpose of human survival .This is responsible for the alarming rate of the increase most  especially commonly found  in  the rural areas  where 70 percent of the people live.Fueled by public penury , and massively exploited as a source of income and trade for survival ,worsened by neglect of these  noted factors ,in both  primary and secondary items ,there is no doubt the threat has come to stay .
AS the decline in forest cover persists  , the nation’s remainder of rich diverse ecosystem is likely going extinct in foreseeable years ahead .This includes  899 species of , 274 mammals , 53 Amphibians ,154 reptiles and 4 , 715 species as potential endangered species could soon be wipe out in a clime smitten with low morale and exacerbated by declining rainfall and rise in turgid temperature . Unless robust forest management policy is adopted by the current administration, to avert  thirty five years policy gap  ,the threat of extinction  and global warming cannot be disputed .Already ,Gorillas  in Cross Rivers ,are reported to be threatened by shrinking population  down to around 300 individuals according to a source ,gullible to human poaching and mass habitat destruction .
In this context ,the snowball of land grabbing and land conflicts on the increase cannot be exonerated ,aggravated by deforestation and desertification .The rise in climate change in the Niger Delta ,campaign of human and environmental right activism popularized by Isaac Adaka Boro, and likes of Ken Saro Wiwa and the Ogoni 9 murdered by Abacha regime in the 90s and many more , has put on the front burner ,the need  for a sensitive policy ,sensitive administration , efficient public institutions and above all responsible leadership and followership  to thrive in a sensitive clime .

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