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This study was intended to evaluate the consequences of deforestation on rural household income. This study was guided by the following objectives; to find out the causes of deforestation in Odighi in Edo state, to examine the consequences of in rural household income, to determine the strategies of reducing deforestation.

The study employed the descriptive and explanatory design; questionnaires in addition to library research were applied in order to collect data. Primary and secondary data sources were used and data was analyzed using simple percentages which was presented in frequency tables and percentage. The respondents under the study were 50 respondents including farmers, hunters and staff of agricultural and forestry department in Odighi Edo state, Abuja branch. The study majorly focuses on the consequences of deforestation on rural household income.

The study findings revealed that deforestation negatively affects rural household income in Odighi Edo state; based on the findings from the study, efforts should be made by the Nigerian government and stakeholders in promoting tree planting and preservation.


1.0.         INTRODUCTION

Deforestation is the removal of a forest or stand of trees where the land is thereafter converted to a non-forest use.  Examples of deforestation include conversion of forestland to farms, ranches, or urban use. Deforestation occurs for many reasons: trees are cut down to be used or sold as fuel (sometimes in the form of charcoal) or timber, while cleared land is used as pasture for livestock, plantations of commodities and settlements. The removal of trees without sufficient reforestation has resulted in damage to habitat, biodiversity loss and aridity. It has adverse impacts on biosequestration of atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Subsistence farming is responsible for 48% of deforestation; commercial agriculture is responsible for 32% of deforestation; logging is responsible for 14% of deforestation and fuel wood removals make up 5% of deforestation.

 Other causes of contemporary deforestation may include corruption of government institutions, the inequitable distribution of wealth and power, population growth and overpopulation, and urbanization. Globalization is often viewed as another root cause of deforestation, though there are cases in which the impacts of globalization (new flows of labor, capital, commodities, and ideas) have promoted localized forest recovery.

Deforestation is a contributor to global warming, and is often cited as one of the major causes of the enhanced greenhouse effect. Tropical deforestation is responsible for approximately 20% of world greenhouse gas emissions. In deforested areas, the land heats up faster and reaches a higher temperature, leading to localized upward motions that enhance the formation of clouds and ultimately produce more rainfall.

The water cycle is also affected by deforestation. Trees extract groundwater through their roots and release it into the atmosphere. When part of a forest is removed, the trees no longer transpire this water, resulting in a much drier climate. Deforestation reduces the content of water in the soil and groundwater as well as atmospheric moisture. The dry soil leads to lower water intake for the trees to extract. Deforestation reduces soil cohesion, so that erosion, flooding and landslides ensue.


Forests cover almost a third of the earth’s land surface providing many environmental benefits including a major role in the hydrologic cycle, soil conservation, prevention of climate change and preservation of biodiversity (Sheram, 1993). Forest resources can provide long-term national economic benefits. For example, at least 145 countries of the world are currently involved in wood production (Anon., 1994). Sufficient evidence is available that the whole world is facing an environmental crisis on account of heavy deforestation. For years remorseless destruction of forests has been going on and we have not been able to comprehend the dimension until recently. Nobody knows exactly how much of the world’s rainforests have already been destroyed and continue to be razed each year. Data is often imprecise and subject to differing interpretations. However, it is obvious that the area of tropical rainforest is diminishing as observed in the case of Odighi forest in Odighi Local government area of Edo State and the rate of tropical rain forest destruction is escalating worldwide, despiteincreased environmental activism and awareness. Deforestation is the conversion of forest to an alternative permanent non-forested land use such as agriculture, grazing or urban development (van Kooten et al, 2000).

Deforestation is primarily a concern for the developing countries of the tropics (Myers, 1994) as it is shrinking areas of the tropical forests (Barraclough et al, 2000) causing loss of biodiversity and enhancing the greenhouse effect (Angelsen et al., 1999). FAO considers a plantation of trees established primarily for timber production to be forest and therefore does not classify natural forest conversion to plantation as deforestation (but still records it as a loss of natural forests). However, FAO does not consider tree plantations that provide non-timber products to be forest although they do classify rubber plantations as forest.

Forest degradation occurs when the ecosystem functions of the forest are degraded but where the area remains forested rather cleared (Anon., 2010).

Thirty per cent of the earth’s land area or about 3.9 billion hectares is covered by forests. It was estimated that the original forest cover was approximately six billion hectares (Bryant etal., 1997). The Russian Federation, Brazil, Canada, the United States of America and China were the most forest rich countries accounting to 53 per cent of the total forest area of the globe. Another 64 countries having a combined population of two billions was reported tohave forest on less than ten per cent of their total land area and unfortunately ten of these countries have no forest at all. Among these countries 16 are such which had relatively substantial forest areas of more 1than one million hectares each and three of these countries namely Chad, the Islamic Republic of Iran and Mongolia each had more than ten million hectares of forest. The forest area remained fairly stable in North and Central America while it expanded in Europe during the past decade. Asian continent especially in India and China due to their large scale afforestation programme in the last decade registered a net gain in forest area. Conversely the South America, Africa and Oceania had registered the net annual loss of forest area (Anon., 2010).


There is enoughevidence that the whole world is facing an environmental crisis on account of heavy deforestation. For several years, there has been remorseless of destruction which must be put under control to avoid some bad consequences associated with deforestation. Nobody knows exactly how much of the world’s rainforests have already been destroyed and continue to be razed each year. Data is often imprecise and subject to differing interpretations. However, this research work will focus on the consequences of deforestation on the rural house hold income especially as observed in Odighi in Edo State.


The aim of this study is to determine the causes and consequences of deforestation in Odighi and the following objectives are stated for this research study:

To find out the causes of deforestation in OdighiEdo State

To find out the consequences of deforestation on rural house hold income in OdighiEdo State.

To determine the strategies for reducing deforestation.


What are the causes of deforestation in OdighiEdo State?

What are the consequences of deforestation on rural household income in OdighiEdo State

What are the strategies for reducing deforestation?


          The significance of this research are:

To provide solutions which can assist educators, general public and the government on the causes and consequences of deforestation thereby raising an awareness about unwanted outcomes of deforestation.

Findings from this research work will also ascertain the extent of deforestation in OdighiEdo State

This research work will help to improve the existing literatures on deforestation thereby contributing to the body of knowledge.


Literature review

Forests and agriculture are an integral part of the farming systems where farmers depend upon them for their livelihood [1]. The importance of forests as providers of livelihoods and poverty “safety nets” has received growing attention over the past few decades. Forest resources are the major means of livelihood for the rural populace as majority depends on it for livestock farming, inputs for agriculture and supply for timber and non-timber forest products [2]. The forest is often perceived as a stock resource, a free good, with the land as something freely available for conversion to other uses without recognition of the consequences on its role of provision of environmental services. Hence many forest ecosystems have been degraded into less diverse and stable ones [3]. Deforestation is defined as a direct, human-induced conversion of forested land to non-forested land [4]. Forest degradation occurs when the ecosystem functions of the forest are degraded but where the area remains forested rather cleared. Deforestation is a conventional environmental challenge substantially affecting the resilience and distribution of forests across different boundaries. It is simply defined as the loss of tree cover usually as a result of forests being cleared for agriculture and other land uses.

In Nigeria, forests provide goods such as timber and other non-timber products (e.g. bamboo, chew stick, game) which help most communities to meet the requirements for rural economy [7]. Meanwhile, the forests of Nigeria contribute substantially to the national gross domestic product (GDP) and sustenance of the livelihood of the people. This may be the reason why the trend of deforestation across the country seems to be very high. According to [8], forestry contributions to Nigeria’s GDP vary from time to time. [8] also reported that forest contribution to GDP in the country are 0.92% in 1981, 0.89% in 1982, 0.97% in 1983, 1.00% in 1984, and 0.91% in 1985. Further observation of [8] shows that forestry contributions to GDP of the country were

The deforestation and degradation of Nigeria forest resources is indisputable. According to [9], between 1980 and 1990, the annual rate of deforestation averaged 3.5% and the forest area declined from 14.9 million 10.1 million ha which translates to the loss of 350,000 to 400,000 ha of forest land per annum for the country. The study carried by Forestry Management and Coordinating Unit [10] on vegetation and land use changes in Nigeria showed that undisturbed forest decreased from

2.9% of total land area of Nigeria in 1976/78 to 1.3% in 1993/95 – (decrease of 1,383,700 hectares); also the disturbed forest increased from 1.6% of total area of Nigeria in 1976/78 to 2.1% in 1993/95 – (an increase of 441,700) hectares. [10] also revealed that the Riparian forest decreased from 0.8% to 0.6% – a decrease of 214,800 hectares within the same period. [11] Global Forest Assessment reported that Nigeria’s forests and woodlands, which currently cover about 9.6 million hectares, have been dwindling rapidly over the past decades. It stated that the country’s current deforestation rate is estimated at 3.7% and one of the highest in the world. It further stated that between 1990 and 2015, Nigeria lost about 35% of its remaining forest resources and over 50% of another wooded land. This is an alarming trend that suggests that the assertion that the remaining forest area of the country would disappear in the next three decades might become a reality if steps and necessary initiatives are not taken to check this development. However, much of the humaninduced deforestation and forest degradation is, in varying degrees, economically wasteful and environmentally negative, as well as socially undesirable as just a few individuals benefit as reported by [11]. The process usually induces adverse effects on the social condition of weaker sectors of society and leads to the progressive impoverishment of ecosystems [12]. Some types of deforestation and forest degradation result in costs to society that amply exceeds benefits. There is enough evidence that Nigeria is facing an environmental crisis on account of heavy deforestation. For several years, there has been remorseless destruction which must be put under control to avoid some bad consequences associated with deforestation. Nobody knows exactly how much of its tropical forest have already been destroyed and continue to be razed each year. Data is often imprecise and subject to differing interpretations. Population growth and expansion  which are the major causes of deforestation usually results to decrease in per capita income thus savings and rate of capital formation remain low, reduction in per capita income, rise in general price level leading to sharp rise in cost of living. No improvement in agricultural and industrial technology, shortage of essential commodities, low standard of living, mass unemployment etc. This underscores the importance of this study with the following objectives: To describe the socio-economic


3.1 Methodology and procedure

In this research the researcher among other methods used the descriptive research method. The descriptive research is concerned with the collection, presentation, analysis and interpretation of data for the purpose of describing vividly existing conditions, prevailing practices and beliefs, attitudes, on-going procures etc. the descriptive research goes beyond the description of the conditions or phenomena to include discovery of meaning. It also focuses a discovery of trends that are developing. The main objectives of descriptive research is to get detailed and factual information about issues, events, problems and describe the events as they are.

The descriptive research method enabled the researcher to describe in a systematic manner consequences of deforestation on rural household income (a case study of odighi edo state)

The essentials of the descriptive research cannot be over-looked, it is a research that gives the true picture of the whole situation or problem. It gives the basis for eliciting possible policies for alleviating problems. It also saves time. The data for the descriptive analysis was generated through various types of data collection; they are interviews, which are structured interview and unstructured interview, also through an empirical investigation. They all will be discussed below.


Interviews involve eliciting information from the respondent through some verbal interaction between the interview and the respondent. It is a face to face interaction situation in which one person the interviewer questions, which are responded to orally. The questions which are properly framed, allows the respondent easy understanding of the information that are being sort for.

3.2   The empirical investigation

The researcher conducted a detailed empirical investigation in odighi edo state). The method here was based on sustained participant observation approach (Scott, 1965). Data were collected through interviews, study of secondary material and observation. The observation is an investigation method used to obtain direct information method used to obtain direct information on the behavior of individuals, objects or situations. It involves watching people, situations phenomena and getting first-hand information relating to particular aspects of such people, events, situations or phenomena.

Information relating to certain aspects of human behavior can only be obtained in the particular settings where such behaviors are exhibited. Use of interviews are discussed above. Secondary materials are those source of information which other people did not participate or witness the events. The author of a secondary source material tries to collect and synthesize a pool of materials, which include encyclopedia, dictionaries, textbooks, journals and periodicals, newspapers and magazines as well as publications. Extensive use was made of personnel interviews. In this research the researcher concentrated on focused interviews. This involved the use of guided questionnaire sheet which are designed to assist the researcher to obtain desired information from the respondents. This technique was aimed at giving the respondents the freedom to answer questions asked, while the interviewer occasionally directed the discussion towards the course that will enable him obtain the required information.

3.3   Reliability of data collected

interviews used where the structured interviews and unstructured interview. The structured interview is a rigidly standardized and formal kind of interview. The questions were presented to the different respondents, in the same order and choice of alternative responses, and it is restricted to predetermined list. The structured approach allowed for reliable data analysis. In the unstructured interview, which is a flexible type of interview which contains very few restrictions on the respondent’s answers, the respondents were encouraged to express their thoughts freely.

The secondary materials that were studies were those relating to internal topic. These include textbooks, publications of government, newspapers, journals and periodicals. The textbooks were gotten from the library to provide detailed information and knowledge. Generally, the textbooks provided interpretation in the topic. The government publications like books, pamphlets, e.t.c. from different government agencies and parastatals contain very rich information concerning the topic, they included statistical reports, research reports, official reports, laws and other materials that are not readily available elsewhere.

The newspapers on the other hand provided current information concerning peoples’ views and opinions in the area of study. The formed valuable sources of information from where good ideas have been obtained to be helpful in designing and executing a very good work


In this study, the research method had great emphasis toward the descriptive sample survey. This approach was adopted here because the researcher worked with a much number of potential variable of interest with little previous knowledge of theory that would inform us on where to begin.  It is considered that a more flexible and exploratory approach will be needed.

A possible compromise between the exploratory research of the single participant observer and a much more systematic and standardized approach is the descriptive sample survey.  In this sample survey, a premium is placed on certain kinds of standardization, here the research was concerned with the methodology areas.

This final to collect data in such a way that all respondents are confronted with rarely identical questions.This seems is concerned with sampling are the question of generalization in making results.  The third is with specifying standard criterion for data analysis procedure so that different analysis may reach similar conclusion based on the available data.

3.5 Population of the study

The available population of the affected states is two hundred and fourteen (200), the information was obtained from the records of various sources.

3.6 Instrument for data collection

Two instruments where used in the study and it yields a lot of contribution and contents.

i.     Oral Interview:  The research used face-to-face interview with the interviews with the respondents to obtain the necessary information needed from the organization.

ii.     Questionnaire:  The research used questionnaires to gather information from the respondents.  The questionnaire contains difference questions.  Some option from which the respondents were, required to choose

3.7 Validation of the instrument

The instrument was subjected to both content and face validity by supervision, after all the corrections, the validated instrument was taken back for conformation to ensure that suggestions and observation were incorporated.

3.8 Reliability of the instrument

The instrument was subjected to test, retest reliability test.  The result showed a good internal consistency.

3.9 Methods of data collection

The data for this study where obtained from primary data where obtained from respondents, through direct interview and questionnaire method.

The secondary data were obtained through the stocks of material from the researchers’ friends and associates and National library.  More so, an experience from observation was very helpful in this research work.

3.10 Methods of data analysis

The analysis of data was organized along the following lines.  Descriptive statistical analysis was used to indicate percentage scores of all the respondents. The calculation of respondents were equally drawn up on the table.


Question one

Does deforestation have a strong impact on rural household income

Table one

S/N0RespondentsPercentage (%)

89% of the population agreed that deforestation have a strong impact on rural household income. 11% said no

Question two

Is reduced deforestation an effective means in influencing rural household income positively?

Table two

S/N0RespondentsPercentage (%)

60.5% of the respondents said that reduced deforestation is an effective means in influencing rural household income positively. 39.5% disagreed.

Question three

Is there a relationship between deforestation and rural household income?

Table three

S/N0RespondentsPercentage (%)

54.5% of the population said that there is a relationship between deforestation and rural household income. 45.5% said no.

Question four

How would you categorize the relationship between deforestation and rural household income?

Table four

S/N0RespondentsPercentage (%)

62.5% of the population said it is strong. 37.5% of the population said it is weak

Question five

Would you advise an increased spending on reduced deforestation?

Table five

S/N0RespondentsPercentage (%)

94% of the population said that they advise an increased spending on reduced deforestation. 6% said no



This study revealed that poorer households on the lowest rung of the income ladder depend more heavily on non-timber forest products than wealthier families. This is so because poorer rural families are resource constrained and thus cannot take advantage of more profitable income generating opportunities, thereby leading to resource overdependence. This situation results in resource overexploitation and ultimately, deforestation and degradation        with       dire consequences for society.

Therefore, Forestry extension programmes should be designed to increase the knowledge base of rural household land owners and managers to plan and implement      advanced       natural        resource management.


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