African Journal of
Environmental Science and Technology

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Environ. Sci. Technol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0786
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJEST
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 1125

Full Length Research Paper

Ecosystem modification and land use change in South East Nigeria: Realities and prospects for conservation

Nwabueze, I. Igu
  • Nwabueze, I. Igu
  • Department of Geography and Meteorology, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria.
  • Google Scholar
Chinero, N. Ayogu
  • Chinero, N. Ayogu
  • Department of Geography, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State, Nigeria.
  • Google Scholar
Ngozi, V. Okolo
  • Ngozi, V. Okolo
  • Department of Environmental Management, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria.
  • Google Scholar
Joseph, O. Duluora
  • Joseph, O. Duluora
  • Department of Environmental Management, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria.
  • Google Scholar
Peter, I. Eburu
  • Peter, I. Eburu
  • Department of Geography and Meteorology, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria.
  • Google Scholar


  •  Received: 21 January 2023
  •  Accepted: 02 March 2023
  •  Published: 31 March 2023

Abstract

Ecosystem modification is increasing in scale and presents the need to provide suitable conservation strategies to address dearth in policy guidelines. This work elucidated the dynamics of land use change, prevalent forest use and policy, and conservation strategy. Geometrically rectified satellite imagery data were processed for 40 years; covering three epochs. Questionnaires were distributed across four locations: 50 questionnaires per location. Results of land use change showed that vegetation cover changed from 11666.6 ha to 6067.2 ha; bare surface: 2833.8 to 1831.4 ha; built up: 1084.4 to 6378.1 ha; farmland: 81.1 to 1407.5 ha and water body: 25.5 to 5.9 ha. Built up area had much land use change gains while vegetation cover recorded much loss. Results showed that individual ownership of forest areas dominated the area. As much as 83% are not aware of rules guiding forest use, details are neither known to a vast majority (88%), nor were the people’s interests considered when making such rules (up to 84%). Principal component analysis showed strategies for promoting conservation: Making and enforcing laws ensuring forest loss reduction, regulation of forest resource use and awareness on the implications of overharvesting, establishing small reserves, planting new forests and inclusion of local people in management.

 

Key words: Biodiversity, forest management, land use change, tropical ecosystem.