In February 2020, INGSA-Africa announced the winners of their 2019 Project Concept Competition.
Shortly after, the world was forced to pivot entirely to the threat of COVID-19 and regrettably, these essays were not celebrated in the way we would have liked
So even though the local and global context has now changed so much, we wanted to release the winning Project Concepts from 2019 and hope that you find them insightful despite the delay in their publication.
Project Concept for Disseminating Science Advice in-Country
Busuyi Olasina Agbeja
Department of Social and Environmental Forestry,
Faculty of Renewable Natural Resources,
University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria
Government gazetted forest reserve is an area constituted under law which aims at ensuring and securing the availability of quality and quantity of forest goods, services and contribution to long term development in forestry sector of a nation. The main objective of the study is to draw lessons on sustainable management of gazetted forest reserves in Southwest Nigeria with a view to recommending policy options based on scientific evidence for good forest governance that will promote Sustainable Forest Management in the Southwest Nigeria.
The specific objectives are to establish the extent and dynamics of the forest reserves in the six states of Southwest Nigeria; carry out an assessment of the forest reserves to determine tree species composition, distribution, quality and quantity; carry out inventory of the forest reserves; determine the level of dependence of the fringe communities on the forest for livelihood and the impact of their activities on the health and integrity of the forest ecosystem; and investigate the elements of forest governance that promote sustainable forest management. Field survey, which entails detailed appraisal of the various aspects of the objectives will be carried out using drone for forest cover; Flora of West Tropical Africa for the identification and authentication of tree species composition; Spiegel relaskop and Haga altimeter, girth tape, ranging poles, pegs and tags for inventory data collection and growing stocks; Questionnaire and direct observation for data collection on fringe communities for livelihood and the impact of their activities on the health and integrity of the forest ecosystem; and semi-structured interviews for elements of forest governance.
Data collected will be analyzed using artificial intelligent algorithm, descriptive and inferential statistics at α<0.05.The expected outputs are: extent of forest reserves in the six states in Southwest Nigeria will be established; tree species composition, distribution, quality and quantity will be determined; inventory data assessed and available growing stock will be determined; level of dependence of the fringe communities on the forest for livelihood and the impact of their activities on the health and integrity of the forest ecosystem will be determined; elements of forest governance will be investigated; and a five-year operational management plan for the forest reserves with 2019 as base year will be developed for good forest governance in the Southwest Nigeria.
Forest resource is basically an economic resource and the purpose for its development is to enhance the living standards and welfare of the people. Literature is replete with overwhelming evidence of the significance of forests to human existence. Diouf (1997) asserted that forests are the most important terrestrial gene banks on Earth. Forests are nature’s bountiful and versatile renewable resources and are an integral part of the environment in which we live. The relationship between man and forests has always changed with socio-economic development, and will certainly continue to change (Blauberg, 1997). In Southwest Nigeria, forest reserves have always supported rural livelihoods. High population lives in rural areas of Nigeria, where most people earn a living and rely heavily on forests for food, timber, poles, fuelwood, non-timber products, etc. The quality of decision-making processes for sustainable forest management hinges on good forest governance. Nevertheless, the elements of forest governance like rule of law, transparency, equity, efficiency and accountability have fallen short of positive impact on sustainable forest management in the Southwest Nigeria. It is therefore, imperative to understand the dynamics of forest governance and policy evolution in the right context in order to fashion out congenial policy framework that will seek the interest of all stakeholders. In view of the above, forest governance in Government gazetted forest reserves in the Southwest Nigeria will be investigated.
Statement of Problem
The accelerated deforestation of the natural forest areas and the greater participation in market economy by forest dependent communities are clear signs of important transition in man-forest relationship. As population pressure mounts existing forest resources and the economy of Southwest Nigeria expand, new policies for good forest governance are needed for sustainable forest management and to ensure sustainable livelihoods of forest dependent communities. Cases abound of over-exploitation of forest resources, which in turn have resulted to decrease in forest cover and degradation of forest reserves without the local people being inadvertently aware of the consequences. Elliot and Mwangi (1998) and McCalla (2000) have observed that groups of people that lack assets tend to lack voice, security and a stake in the larger society, hampering the ability of institutions to perform their necessary functions. This can result in vicious, self-reinforcing circles; biased institutions implementing policies that lead to more inequity asset distribution and greater polarization of society leading to social strife. It is no longer tenable to rely on old policies, which tended to exclude and/or restrict the participation of local communities.
The main objective of the study is to draw lessons on sustainable management of gazetted forest reserves in the Southwest Nigeria with a view to recommending policy options based on scientific evidence for good forest governance that will promote sustainable forest management in Southwest Nigeria.
- To establish the extent and dynamics of the forest reserves in six states of Southwest Nigeria
- To carry out an assessment of the forest reserves to determine tree species composition, distribution, quality and quantity
- To carry out inventory of the forest reserves and determine the following: available growing stock; allowable annual cut; diameter class distribution; and yield from density management diagram
- To determine the level of dependence of the fringe communities on the forest for livelihood and the impact of their activities on the health and integrity of the forest ecosystem
- To investigate the elements of forest governance in Southwest Nigeria
- Based on the result of the assessment and other available data/information about the gazetted forest reserves, the following will be carried out:
- Develop a five-year operational management plan for the forest reserves with 2019 as base year
- Develop an implementation arrangement, including capacity development that will empower the state forest services and forest fringe communities to manage the forest reserves
- Develop forest management programmes and activities that will be implemented within the plan period and ways to ensure effectiveness of implementation
Desk review will cover the outlook of forest governance in the world, Africa, West Africa, Nigeria and Southwest Nigeria. The content will include implication of rule of law, transparency, equity, accountability and efficiency on sustainable forest management. Other topical issues to be reviewed include the gazetted notices of forest reserves; deforestation and degradation and impact on forest cover of a nation; forest reservation and tree species composition, distribution, quality and quantity; inventory carried out in the past on forest estate in Nigeria; and the health and integrity of forest ecosystem
Identified Case Study Areas
In Southwest Nigeria, the study will be conducted in Ekiti, Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Osun and Oyo States whose local communities are forest dependent. The selected states are the major timber producing states in the past and in the present. The six states belong to Southwest Geo-political zone that has virtually similar forest policies.
The study design will be socio-economic and observational in nature.
Population and Sample Size
The methods used by Diaw et al. (2002) will be used to administer the structured questionnaire. Thus, 10, 5, 2.5 per cent sampling intensity will be used to randomly select the number of respondents in communities with population less than 500, between 500 and 1000 and over 1000, respectively.
Data Collection and Procedures
Field survey, which entails detailed appraisal of the various aspects of the objectives, will be carried out using Landsat satellite imageries (Landsat 5-TM, Landsat 7-ETM and Landsat 8- OLI of 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000, 2010 and 2019, respectively) of the selected forest reserves in Southwest Nigeria. These will be obtained from US Geological Survey (USGS).
Flora of West Tropical Africa (Hutchinson et al., 2014) will be used for the identification and authentication of tree species composition.
Spiegel relaskop and Haga altimeter, girth tape, ranging poles, pegs and tags will be used for inventory and mensuration for estimation of growing stocks, volume table, diameter distribution, etc.
Key informants, interviews using semi-structured interviews (check list) and direct observation will be used for collection of data on fringe communities of the forests for livelihood and the impact of their activities on the health and integrity of the forest ecosystem. The research tools will revolve around issues like sex, age, population, occupation, religion, farm location, farm size, income, ethnicity, tenurial arragement, ownership of forest reserves, perception, etc. The respondents will be made up of forest officers of various cadres, agricultural officers, sawmillers, timber contractors, loggers, migrants, farmers and people living within and around the forests. Secondary data will be extracted from documented facts while primary data will be collected from a structured questionnaire whose content will comprise open- and closed-ended questions.
Logit Regression will be used to investigate the elements of forest governance for sustainable forest management in the Southwest Nigeria. The binary logistic models are very useful in situations where the dependent or response variable is binary in nature. This implies that they can have only two possible values. The models therefore, describe the relationship between one or more continuous independent variable(s) to the binary dependent variable. Distinct information provided by logit is the odds ratio. It is defined as the ratio of the odds of an event occurring in the group to the odds ratio of it occurring in another groups (Deeks, 1996; Bland and Altman, 2000). Logit also provides information on the consequences of one variable on the other. Hence, it will clearly indicate the elements of forest governance that mostly promote sustainable forest management. The logit of a response p between 0 and 1 is given as: Logit (p) = log (p/1-p) = log (p) –log (1-p)
The simplest form of logit model is expressed as:
Logit (pi) = a + bxi……………………………………………………………………………… Equation1
- xi = vector of predictor or independent variables
- pi = probability of Sustainable forest management in Southwest Nigeria a and b = regression parameters.
In binary choice models, the two possible results are assigned values of 1 or 0. In the proposed study, respondent that says ‘YES’ to elements of forest governance that promote sustainable forest management is assigned a value of 1 and respondent that says ‘NO’ is assigned a value of 0. The parameter estimation for this study will be done using Quasi-Newton method under logistic regression (logit) option of STATISTICA version 7 Software. Models to be tested will be obtained by fitting all the independent variables together and backward elimination will be done to obtain the best subset model. Emphasis will be placed on keeping the model as simple as possible and selecting combinations of independent variables which make practical sense.
The imageries collected will be analysesd using artificial intelligent algorithm. Other data will be analysesd using descriptive and inferential statistics.
- The extent of forest reserves in the six states in Southwest Nigeria will be established and up to date maps will be produced
- Tree species composition, distribution, quality and quantity will be produced
- Inventory data will be assessed and available growing stock; allowable annual cut; diameter class distribution; and yield from density management diagram determined.
- Level of dependence of the fringe communities on the forest for livelihood and the impact of their activities on the health and integrity of the forest ecosystem will be determined.
- A five-year operational management plan for the forest reserves with 2019 as base year will be developed for six states in the Southwest Nigeria
The research will cover two years (24 Calendar months)