Cross River State Nigeria

Summary

Forest Carbon
--
(using average carbon stock --)
IPCC Measurement Methodology
Deforestation vs. Degradation
Sources:[1]

Reference Levels and Targets

Average Deforestation Rate
787 km²/yr
1996 - 2012
Deforestation Reduction Goal for State/Province and REDD Program
--
for the State/Province and for REDD+ program by --
Tons of CO₂e Avoided Target
--
by --
Needs Identified to Improve Baseline Definition
Content Currently Unavailable

Deforestation Dynamics Monitoring

Are current deforestation rates known?
Partially
Deforestation Rate Target
--
Deforestation Rates
Sources:[2][3]

The main (direct) drivers of deforestation include: Unsustainable agricultural practices, commercial logging, forest fires, cattle grazing, inefficient use of forest resources, and poor enforcement of forest laws, policies and regulations.

Even though all the above-mentioned drivers of deforestation have a significant impact on forests, unsustainable agricultural intensification and commercial logging respectively practices dominate the list of deforestation drivers. Urbanization and domestic energy uses follow. Poor conservation and poor enforcement of forest laws, policies and regulations exacerbate deforestation drivers.

Indirect causes of deforestation in Nigeria
The underlying causes of deforestation and forest degradation can be grouped under macro economic factors, governance factors and other factors (including demographic technological and cultural factors).

Macro economic factors
The higher profitability of agriculture is the main economic factor underlying the conversion of forests to other uses. Other macro economic factors include external debt; foreign exchange rate policy and trade policies governing the sector. For example, the ban on log and sawn timber export has contributed significantly to this inefficiency by keeping prices lower than their true competitive levels. This has continued to protect the inefficiency of the wood industry. According to a World Bank study’s analysis, four states (for which complete data are available) subsidized the forest industry to the tune of US $6.5 million in 2003 through a failure to adjust their fees to their real levels and a failure to capture revenues lost through illegal logging. This study estimated that between 2001 and 2003, the four states lost US $ 18.7 million from these sources.

Governance factors
Deforestation and degradation can result from the combined impact of poor forest tenure arrangements and weak forestry institutions, which in turn determine the set of incentives that leads to overexploitation.

Outdated forest laws: The legislative structure for forest management in Nigeria has remained largely unchanged since colonial times. Forest resources fall under three main categories: Forest Reserves, State and private tree plantations, and ‘free areas’. The colonial legislation set a number of precedents that are still evident today, including a policy thrust based upon the expansion of reserved areas and plantations, in which communities have very limited rights. The current National Forest Policy (1988), 11 continues this trend by focusing on achieving national self-sufficiency in wood production and a doubling of the reserved forest area. However, the status quo appears to have continued largely unchanged by this policy environment. The role of rural communities in forest management and the importance of forest resources to the rural poor have not been recognized so far.

No integration with other ministries: Government agricultural programmes, and the potential expansion of the solid minerals sector, have a significant impact on forestry in Nigeria, with this largely being overlooked in national planning processes. Forestry and the environment in general, is not effectively integrated across national planning, despite the presence of mainstreaming mechanisms (such as the inactive biodiversity inter-ministerial committee).

Land tenure: Land tenure laws fail to formally recognize community tenure of land removing an incentive for villages to manage their land resources more effectively. The rights of communities over the forest sector worsened following the Land Use Decree of 1978.

Weak capacity at Federal level: The management of forest resources and the right to generate revenue from the forest estate are both vested in the State Governments at present. The 1978 Land Use Decree, which vests all land in the hands of the State Governors, strengthened this mandate. The role of the Federal Government appears somewhat limited, although the Federal Department of Forestry (FDF) holds the remit to advance national forest policy. The FDF is in a weak position, having suffered from a lack of capacity development over last fifteen years. The National Forest Development Committee (NFDC) is the forum that brings together all the State Forestry Directors and is chaired by the Director of the FDF. It provides an important institutional link between the Federal authority and the States. In recent times it has been involved in guiding forest policy and legislation development.

Weak capacity at state level: This lack of capacity and funding situation is reflected at the state level, where the State Forestry Departments lack capacity to manage forests effectively. On the other hand, forestry plays a pivotal role in State finances for example, in Ekiti State, with 40 % of Internally Generated Revenue being raised from timber royalties and license fees in 2002. Nevertheless, the funding of government agencies remains weak and there is very limited civil society capacity to compensate for this deficiency.

Absence of forest management planning: An important cause for deforestation within the forest reserves can be linked to state forestry departments who have abandoned any form of forest management for natural forest since the 1970s. As a result, reserve forests are being treated as an infinite resource with no effective policies in place to regulate their harvesting. An example of this is the practice of allocating short-term concession of 1 to 3 years that encourage annual re-entries thereby totally degrading the forests. In many reserves management amounts to salvage logging for the last remaining trees.

High revenue targets and low timber fees: The forest revenue system of the states has also contributed to the forests’ demise. The allocation of concessions is by discretion and annual timber removal is driven by the states’ revenue targets. These are set administratively without regard to what actually exists in the forest or what can be sustainable harvested. A World Bank Forestry Economic Study for Nigeria in year 2005 showed that low timber fees have had a direct impact on the efficiency of forest industry, costing the state significant losses in revenue as well as causing wastage of valuable timber resources. Other reasons for degradation in the forest reserves include inefficient wood-utilization by industry and, therefore, a higher demand for industrial grade timber, and illegal logging.

De-reservation by state governments: In addition, forest estates are being de-reserved by some state Governments and the State Forest Departments who have been resist the spate of requests from corporate and influential individuals for excisions from the forest estate for the establishment of agricultural cropland. The unfortunate impression has thus been created that the forest estate exists as a land bank as the demands for de-reservation continue nationwide.

Ban on wood export: In addition, the ban on log and sawn timber export has contributed significantly to this inefficiency by keeping prices lower than their true competitive levels. This has continued to protect the inefficiency of the wood industry. According to this World Bank study’s analysis, four states (for which complete data are available) subsidized the forest industry to the tune of US $6.5 million in 2003 through a failure to adjust their fees to their real levels and a failure to capture revenues lost through illegal logging. This study estimated that between 2001 and 2003, the four states lost US $ 18.7 million from these sources.

Demographic factors
A growing rural population and migration to the agricultural frontier increases the pressure on forests. An increasing population in urban and rural areas also raises the demand for food and other land-based commodities, thus, requiring more land to produce them.

Technological factors
Technological improvements can affect deforestation rates. The adoption of land extensive technologies inevitably results in the expansion of agriculture at the expense of forests.

Cultural factors
Sacred groves and forest areas are often protected from land conversion and degradation. However, other cultural factors exert pressure on forests. The majorities of forest communities with a few exceptions is unaware of any alternatives to unsustainable exploitation and are often divided amongst themselves as to how to best exploit the forests for their development. In a typical village individuals supported by logging interests are often pitted against hunters and NTFP collectors. Chiefs are often compromised by loggers and are unable to protect the forests for the good of the majority in the village who may depend on NTFPs and bush meat and other forest products to supplement farming income. Divided communities are often far more vulnerable to predatory logging interests and so within a few generations, their forests are cleared while the villages remain poor.

Data gathered by monitoring units of various forest charge offices.

Monitoring of forest activities has occulted over the past few decades and there is currently no systematic institution for forest monitoring.  Primarily, monitoring has been carried out on an ad hoc basis since the 1990's. However, a series of governments and donors have contributed to various monitoring efforts and broader forest management and governance programs in the state.  

In 1999, the Department for International Development (DFID), formerly the ODA, of the UK Government began funding of a 3 – year Cross River State Community Forestry Project (CRSCFP). It was conceived essentially to support the need for increased productivity of the states remaining forests outside the national park (i.e. in the forest reserves and community forests) following the creation of the Cross River National Park projects. The major objectives of the programme were:

  • To build the capacity of communities to manage their forests and derive livelihood benefits, and
  • To build the capacity of the Cross River State Forestry Commission to support communities.

Over 33 communities interested in forest management were identified out of an estimated 75 forest – owning villages in Cross River State. The project facilitated formation and registration of 33 Forest Management Committees (FMCs). The three-year programme carried out numerous studies, including a rapid inventory of the state’s forest resources.

In August of 2002, Flasse Consulting also was hired to perform a rapid assessment of the tropical high forest cover and timber volume and to perform a rapid appraisal of forest quality using remote sensing.

In addition to remote sensing efforts, 51 forest plots from a 1994 survey were revisited in 2001. This work showed a rate of exploitation in the plots of between 17% and 57%, varying between location and forest type (either a forest reserve or a community forest).

More official data needed about legal and illegal timber extraction and more on-ground monitoring needed to reduce uncertainty.

Forest Degradation Dynamics Monitoring

Are current degradation rates known?
Partially
Forest Degradation Rates

Forest diseases, forest fires and extraction for:

  • commerce,
  • making fences to mark territories,
  • materials for housing,
  • domestic fires and
  • implementation of livestock farming and agriculture.

The main way of assessing forest degradation has been the revisiting of 1994 forest plots. In addition, on-going efforts by Yadvinder Malhi and Winston Asanta (Oxford University) may help monitor deforestation.

Needs for degradation would be part of an overall forest monitoring program.

Forest Carbon Stocks Quantification

Are forest carbon stocks known?
Partially
Forest Classes
1 Forest Types Represented by
4 Plots
Above Ground Carbon Stock
193.0 ± 97 tC/ha
Below Ground Carbon Stock
-- tC/ha

Only 4 small (20m x 20m) plots were measured. This was not a rigorous academic exercise, but rather a “quick look” into possible above ground carbon and also to understand variance of plots in a single forest type. The diameter at breast height of all trees (greater than 10cm DBH) was recorded. General (Chave) allometric equations were applied and expansion factors used to estimate 193 t C/ha in that forest area.

As part of its overall REDD program and REDD monitoring programs, the state needs to carry out robust forest carbon density measurements in discrete forest classes in a manner consistent with applications of remote sensing.

Sources

Summary
1. Macarthy Oyebo, Francis Bisong, and Tunde Morakinyo, A Preliminary Assessment of the Context for REDD in Nigeria, the Federal Ministry of Environment, the Cross River State’s Forestry Commission and the United Nations Development Program (Nov. 2010).
Deforestation Dynamics Monitoring
2. Oyebo, Bisong & Morakinyo 2010. A preliminary assessment of the context for REDD in Nigeria. A Preliminary Assessment of the Context for REDD in Nigeria,commissioned by the Federal Ministry of Environment, the Cross River State's Forestry Comission and UNDP.
3. Oyebo, Bisong & Morakinyo 2010. A preliminary assessment of the context for REDD in Nigeria. A Preliminary Assessment of the Context for REDD in Nigeria, commissioned by the Federal Ministry of Environment, the Cross River State's Forestry Comission and UNDP.