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Mitigating Climate Change Through Fuelwood Management

Deforestation is the largest source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Nigeria: it is responsible for 40 percent of national CO2 emissions (SNC, 2014).

According to the second national communication to the UNFCCC, baseline scenario emissions from deforestation will increase from 9.5 MtCO2e/year in 1990 to 26.5 MtCO2e/year in 2030 (based on a conservative deforestation rate of only 2.6 percent).

The National Forest Conservation Council of Nigeria (NFCCN) estimates that a large portion of the forests in Nigeria will be cleared within a few decades if current rates of deforestation are not reduced. All these lead to climate change that will impact on sectors that are strategic for the growth of the economy, such as agriculture, livestock, and water resource management. Increasing temperature, coupled with changes in precipitation patterns and hydrological regimes, will only exacerbate existing vulnerabilities.

In a paper on sustainable fuelwood management in Nigeria which he presented at the opening ceremony of the inception workshop of the United Nations Development Programme Global Environment Facility (UNDP-GEF) on climate change mitigation project in Nigeria recently in Calabar, Cross River State, the representative of the project’s executing agency, the Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN), Engr. Okon Ekpenyong, who is the director, linkages and consultancy at the commission, said Nigeria has the third highest rate of deforestation in the world: 3.7 per cent or 410,000 hectares of forests annually, with some areas in the South losing over 1,000 hectares/year. He disclosed that the country lost over 50 percent of its forest resources between 1990 and 2010 when its forest area shrank from 17 million hectares down to 9 million hectares.


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