Nigerian forests have come under intense human pressure through their farming and wood harvesting activities. Consequently, a large chunk of Nigerian forests especially in Northern Nigeria have been largely degraded. This contributes to huge carbon emissions causing high depletion of forest carbon stocks.
Nigeria may have consequently lost an average of 409,700 hectares of forest every year between 1990 and 2000. This is equal to an average annual deforestation rate of 2.38%. This progressively rose to a total of 35.7% of its forest cover between 1990 and 2005, an equivalent of 6,145,000 hectares of land which is the world’s highest deforestation rate of primary forests. The daily consumption of firewood by the rural communities in Nigeria is estimated at 27.5 million kg/day. About 92.7 million cubic meters of wood is harvested from Nigerian forests that supply about 37 million tonnes of fuel wood per year by 2005.
In Kebbi State of Nigeria, the Mohono Forest is a completely deforested and degraded resource. It is in grave need of serious intervention measures such as conservation and sustainable reforestation and management. The Nigerian Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) scheme is working to achieve that.
Nigeria is also reported to have the world’s highest deforestation rate of primary forests such thatbetween Year 2000 and 2005 the country lost 55.7 percent of its primary forests -defined as forests with no visible signs of past or present human activities. Logging, subsistence agriculture (with bush burning and erosive soil exposures), and the collection of fuel wood are cited as leading causes of forest clearing in the West African country.