Assessment of Forest Degradation Indices in Mokwa Forest Reserve, Niger State, Nigeria|
JEMINIWA, OR; JEMINIWA, MS; TAIWO, DM; DAUDA, M & OLAOTI-LAARO, SO
Forest degradation has become a major concern in many countries around the world as it has
become one of the most debilitating land use crisis in tropical ecosystems. Hence, this study assessed the forest degradation indices in Mokwa forest reserve. Data were collected using structured questionnaires and field reconnaissance survey. Five settlements were selected in and around the forest reserve namely Mokwa, Jangi, Epa, Kpataki and Tswanle. Data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Results showed that farming (41.7%) was the main occupation of the people, artisan works (18.8%) and studentship had the least (4.2%). Briquetting of charcoal (20.8%) was the highest causes of forest degradation; commercial farming (18.8%), overgrazing (16.7%) and population increase was the least (4.2%).Global warming (22.9%) was the major effect of degradation in the study area, soil erosion (20.8%) and the least was low rainfall (9.4%). Agroforestry practices (27.1%) were recorded as the main mitigation measure for reducing degradation in the area. This was followed by Afforestation and enrichment planting (22.9%), tree planting campaign (18.8%) and the least was forest conservation and management (6.3%). The stepwise multiple regression analysis of the causes with other variables showed that briquetting of charcoal had the highest R2 (0.88), followed by commercial farming R2 (0.84), while population increase had the least R2 (0.57). Nevertheless, sustainable empowerment programs are recommended to boost the livelihood of the rural populace and to reduce the overdependence of the people on the forest reserve.
forest degradation; enrichment planting; livelihood; briquetting