Land cover change and forest management strategies in Ife nature reserve, Nigeria

Eludoyin, Adebayo O ; Iyanda, Olamide Olaleye (2018-09)

GeoJournal.

Journal

This study examined the existing forest management strategies and land cover change in one of nature forest reserves in Nigeria. It analysed freely available Landsat imageries for the assessment of land cover change between 1986 and 2014, and conducted key informant interviews on forest guards and an administrator in relevant ministry, for information on management practiced. Results showed that about 35.2% of the vegetal cover were lost within the study period; 80% of the interviewed forest guards attributed such loss to unrestricted access of the surrounding communities, 60% to logging or chain saw operation, and 40% to farming practices and bush burning in the reserve. Management practiced is that, which ensures passive input with active harvesting, but cannot be fixed within a specific sustainable strategy of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations. The study concluded that given the management strategy practiced in the forest reserve, which also allows defaulters of forest reserve regulations to escape punishment because they can ‘settle’, indicate that corruption, rather than poverty, is the major drive of deforestation in the area.