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Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Nigeria: Country's Forest Could Go By 2020

Grace Azubuike

Forests in Nigeria will be cleared entirely within 12 years if current rates of deforestation are not reduced, according to the country's national forest conservation council (NFCCN).

The heavy reliance on wood for fuel – 40 million tonnes per year - is taking a heavy toll on the nation's forest resources which are burnt for charcoal. The lack of reforestation activity means clearing is not being offset by new plantings.

"Considering the rate at which trees are chopped down without any regeneration efforts, all of Nigeria's forests will disappear by 2020," Kabiru Yammama told Agence France-Presse.

With forests almost gone in the north of the country already, the loss of tree cover is also thought to be helping accelerate the spread of deserts and reduce farming land. A report by the NFCCN last year estimated that 35 per cent of arable land had been lost to desertification in the north over the last 50 years

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