Status and drivers of spatial change of forest reserves and protected areas in selected states of southwest Nigeria: a case study of Ogun, Osun and Oyo states, Nigeria
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Department of Geography, Osun State University, NIGERIA
There is a rapid decline in the ecologically and biologically rich South-west Forest Reserves and Protected Areas coupled with negative implications on environmental, social and economic sustainability. Thus, this study evaluated the status and drivers of spatial change of Forest Reserves (FR) and Protected Areas (PA) in Southwest Nigeria. Stratified random sampling technique was used for the study. Forty-four (FR) and one (PA) in Ogun, Osun and Oyo States were selected as representative samples. Forest users (37), Households (68), Community Leaders (10), Government officials (13) totaling 128 respondents were randomly selected. Geographic Information System (GIS) and Remote Sensing as well as quantitative and qualitative methods of data were used to analyze the data collected. The temporal dynamics of the F.R and P.R shows that about 75% of the forest reserves have been degraded. Analysis also showed that degradation is higher in Oyo state compared to Ogun and Osun states as about 50% of the reserves in state has been converted to human settlement (built-up areas). Findings show the major drivers of this massive environmental degradation of forest estates in South-west Nigeria are deforestation, population growth, urbanization, industrialization, agricultural practices, construction and change in government policies. The study thus recommends that there is a need for strict implementation of the 2006 National Forest Policy and periodic monitoring of the forest estate with the use of GIS and Remote Sensing techniques. This will help in knowing the status of the FR and PA per time; reduce the rate of massive degradation and deforestation in South-west Nigeria and enhance forest landscape restoration (FLR) in South-west Nigeria.
M. Fasona, Bello Adedoyin and I. Sobanke (2020): Status and drivers of spatial change of forest reserves and protected areas in selected states of southwest Nigeria: a case study of Ogun, Osun and Oyo states, Nigeria. OSUN GEOGRAPHICAL REVIEW, Volume 3, 2020; 54 – 69. Department of Geography, Osun State University, NIGERIA