Mankind’s activities on the environment in his quest for development have resulted in a continuous and serious degradation of the ecosystem, thus posing a threat to both his present and future living. Currently, deforestation constitutes one of the global development challenges. Specifically, it is one of the most serious long term environmental problems facing the world and Nigeria is not an exception. On these bases, this study analyzed deforestation and the extent to which past and current economic development efforts have impaired the greening of the Nigerian’s economy. The analysis from the study revealed that despite the promulgation of the act forbidding indiscriminate tree felling in Nigeria, majority of the rural dwellers still engage in using fuel wood as their major source of cooking energy. Higher proportion of the rural dwellers also uses charcoal which is a bye product of wood burning, as their source of energy for domestic cooking. The respondents affirmed that fuel wood consumption is the most compelling factor responsible for deforestation in the rural areas of Nigeria. This is closely followed by charcoal consumption, logging activities, agricultural activities, bush burning and mining, in that order. Other effects of deforestation as opined by the respondents include increase in temperature, decrease in rainfall, and destruction of biodiversity, low agricultural yield, air pollution and degradation of landscape. The study conclude that forest conservation and protection is an important component of adaptation strategies needed to address continuing changes in the natural resource base that sustains human livelihoods. Sustainable forest management is thus a critical component of any policy, action and programme that seeks to address the growing global concern about deforestation, the impact of climate change, green economy and inclusive economic development.
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