African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6786

Full Length Research Paper

Climate change impact and adaptation pathways for forest dependent livelihood systems in Nigeria

Anthony N. Onyekuru
  • Anthony N. Onyekuru
  • York Institute for Tropical Ecosystems (KITE), Environment Department, University of York, UK.
  • Google Scholar
Rob Marchant
  • Rob Marchant
  • York Institute for Tropical Ecosystems (KITE), Environment Department, University of York, UK.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 01 December 2013
  •  Accepted: 15 May 2014
  •  Published: 17 June 2014


Climate change is projected to adversely impact rural livelihoods; especially forest communities dependent on climate sensitive natural resources. Communities within five ecological regions (Mangrove, Rainforest, Guinea savanna, Sudan savanna and Montane forest) in Nigeria were assessed using structured questionnaires to gauge the impact of climate change and adaption responses. Households in the Mangrove, Rainforest, Montane forest, Guinea savanna and Sudan savanna derive 47, 34, 31, 19 and 14% of their livelihood from the forest respectively. More than 75% of households surveyed have experienced impacts of climate change on forest resources, except in the Montane forest zone where only 33% were impacted. In the mangrove and rainforest regions impacts were mostly manifest as excessive rainfall, in the montane forest, Sudan and Guinea savanna, impacts were due to reduced rainfall. Adaptation options in the mangrove and rainforest regions were mainly used for forest conservation and to reduce the impact of excessive rains, while in the montane forest, Guinea and Sudan savannas most strategies are aimed to reduce the impact of aridity such as irrigation, mulching, planting deep and the use of shades. Such community based information can provide a foundation to build an organized, systematic and mitigated approach needed for community-centered adaptive mechanism for sustainable forest resource management. Significantly, this can be used to ensure a steady flow of livelihood support services from a range of ecological regions in Nigeria and across the wider West African sub region.


Keywords: Ecosystem, forest management, forest resources, poverty, sustainability.