By: Busuyi Olasina AGBEJA (Ph.D.), Faculty of Renewable Natural Resources, University of Ibadan.
Government gazetted forest reserve is an area constituted under law which aims at ensuring and securing the availability of quality and quantity of forest goods, services and contribution to long term development in forestry sector of a nation. The main objective of the study is to draw lessons on sustainable management of gazetted forest reserves in Southwest Nigeria with a view to recommending policy options based on scientific evidence for good forest governance that will promote Sustainable Forest Management in the Southwest Nigeria.
The specific objectives are to establish the extent and dynamics of the forest reserves in the six states of Southwest Nigeria; carry out an assessment of the forest reserves to determine tree species composition, distribution, quality and quantity; carry out inventory of the forest reserves; determine the level of dependence of the fringe communities on the forest for livelihood and the impact of their activities on the health and integrity of the forest ecosystem; and investigate the elements of forest governance that promote sustainable forest management.
Field survey, which entails detailed appraisal of the various aspects of the objectives will be carried out using drone for forest cover; Flora of West Tropical Africa for the identification and authentication of tree species composition; Spiegel relaskop and Haga altimeter, girth tape, ranging poles, pegs and tags for inventory data collection and growing stocks; Questionnaire and direct observation for data collection on fringe communities for livelihood and the impact of their activities on the health and integrity of the forest ecosystem; and semi-structured interviews for elements of forest governance.
Data collected will be analyzed using artificial intelligent algorithm, descriptive and inferential statistics at α<0.05.The expected outputs are: extent of forest reserves in the six states in Southwest Nigeria will be established; tree species composition, distribution, quality and quantity will be determined; inventory data assessed and available growing stock will be determined; level of dependence of the fringe communities on the forest for livelihood and the impact of their activities on the health and integrity of the forest ecosystem will be determined; elements of forest governance will be investigated; and a five-year operational management plan for the forest reserves with 2019 as base year will be developed for good forest governance in the Southwest Nigeria.