Across the world, deforestation is increasing at an alarming rate, because of over dependence on wood and wood products, competition for land resources for grazing, farming and related activities; and has significantly contributed to the increased displacement of native communities, animals, water and vegetation. In 2004 fuel wood production was 61 million cubic meters (2.1 billion cubic feet), harvested mostly near dense urban areas. By contrast, annual lumber production—mostly hardwoods such as mahogany, iroko, and obeche—averaged 2 million cubic meters (71 million cubic feet), almost all from the tropical forest zone. Consequently, Nigeria, once a significant exporter of timber, is a net importer. Every year more is lost- illegal logging accounts for a significant portion of this. Illegal logging in particular, has destroyed large hectares of land in many parts of Nigeria, crating deep ditches and gullies which are potential death traps to animals and human beings. Deforestation has been responsible for the depletion of flora and fauna, thus exposing rich agricultural land to the forces of erosion and desertification. As well as contributing to climate change, this impoverishes millions of the poorest people- 90% of whom depend on forests for part of their income. Global timber production has increased by 60% in four decades. This means that roughly 40% of forest area has been lost, while deforestation continues at a rate of 13m million hectares each year. Deforestation is responsible for 19% of global emissions- more than the entire global transport sector. Standing forests are undoubtedly crucial to the livelihoods of 1.2 billion of the poorest people.
Fuel wood is the most dominant domestic energy option of people and communities across Nigeria, as over 80% of Nigerians use fuel wood for cooking and heating. Fuel wood exploitation in both reserved and unreserved areas have become very alarming and especially due to exerting demand for export. This development is responsible for vegetation depletion particularly in the Northern parts of Nigeria which is located in the Sudan/Sahel ecological zone. Protecting and managing forests will help reduce deforestation, maintain ecosystem, services and secure livelihoods. Women are the cooks in most communities, and are the ones who usually gather, collect and use firewood even in the face of many challenges and dangers. Worst still, they are the most vulnerable to the impact of climate change which is enhanced by overexploitation of forest resources. Women therefore have a duty to save and plant more trees so that we can breathe more clean air and save our planet from deforestation and climate change impacts. They are no doubt the best advocates for promoting clean technologies as well as improving the management and restoration of forest resources. Women need all the support they can get to take action!
Our specific objectives include to:
- Provide trainings to women on the establishment of
plant nursery and distribution of seedlings
- Actively participate in forestation programs and projects
- Encourage Agro-forestry amongst women