Today, forests cover approximately one-third of the earth’s land area, account for two-thirds of plant leaf area, and contain 70% of the carbon present in living things. Thus, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that 38.7 million square kilometers of land on Earth were forested in 2000. Forests are essential to all human life because people who live in forest zones rely on them for survival in a variety of ways. Food, medicine, fuel wood, shelter, clothing, timber, construction materials, and so on are examples. The forest also cleans the air and water, improves the climate, and prevents water and wind erosion (Azeke, 2003). Forests are home to roughly 90% of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity. However, the forest is a major cause. of civilization as human population have increased over the past several thousand years (with the world population today estimated to number 7.001 billion by united state census Bureau) bringing deforestation, pollution and industrial usages problems to this important biome (forest) (forest). The contributions of forests to human well-being can only be sustained if the forests are themselves sustained. FAO (Food and Agricultural Organization) 1994. However, Nigeria has lost the majority of its natural forest cover, which is a serious issue, with forest loss occurring at a rate of 3.5 percent per year, resulting in a loss of 350,000 to 400,000 hectares per year (Adedoyin 2001, Aruofor 2000). Since 1990, the country has lost over 6 million ha of forest cover, or 36% of its total forest cover. Nigeria has lost an average of Every year, it loses 11% of its primary forest. Nigeria has the highest rate of natural forest deforestation in the world, according to this figure. Deforestation occurs when a forest stand is removed and the land is converted to a non-forest use (SAFnet Dictionary). Subsistence farming, commercial farming, road construction projects, logging, mining, and dam construction all contribute to deforestation. However, Hazel and Lutz (1998) linked resource degradation in areas with extensive rain fed farming (typical of tropical forest environments) to poverty and population growth. Scherr and Hazell (1994) identified conversion of primary forest to agriculture as one of the environmental problems caused by rain fed farming, along with biodiversity loss, climate change, and the exposure of fragile soil (which cause deforestation). Plantations and commodities may contribute to deforestation. Tree removal without adequate reforestation has resulted in climate change, habitat damage, biodiversity loss, and aridity. The carbon lost due to forest destruction is exacerbated (increased) by gas flaring. Air pollution, ozone depletion, land degradation, and constantly declining soil fertility are all associated with deforestation, as is a declining quality of life (Ewuola & Yomi –Alfred,2000). According to the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), the threats to sustainable forest management posed by economic constraints in Sub-Saharan Africa are overwhelming. Forests were revered in folklore and worshipped in ancient religion. Crews (2003) claimed that trees and forests influenced people’s way of life as well as the cultures, languages, mythologies, and folklore of people who lived within and around the forest. These beliefs and attitudes Local people’s attitudes and behavior influenced their way of life and contributed significantly to the conservation of the forest reserve. As a result, traditional beliefs influence people’s values, behaviors, and perceptions of the forest, which aids in forest conservation. Many large markets among the Benin people of Edo state began under Iroko trees. Milicia Excelsa (Iroko) and Bombax Spp are believed to be the homes of spirits, village gods, or ancient gods, and stories of ten revolve around the trees that are frequently left around villages. Plants such as Iroko, Bombax Spp, Newbouldia leaves, Kola acuminate, Garcina Kola, and others were preserved. Traditional beliefs also protected animals such as the crocodile, vulture, tortoise, and leopard. Furthermore, sacred groves contain a variety of medicinal plants. which are extremely useful in primary health care delivery. The majority of Nigeria’s population still lives in rural areas where modern health care is available and these plants and animals are relied on. Advances in science and an increase in evangelism in Christian and Muslim faiths have greatly reduced the influence of scared groves as a conservation method. Cultural norms and taboos are broken with little or no repercussions, and sacred groves are deteriorating. Today’s government is worried about deforestation and environmental degradation, which are estimated to cost the country more than $6 billion per year. It has failed to implement effective anti-illegal logging measures, and only 6% of the land area is protected. The previous administration attempted to To prevent further loss, a ban on log exports, promotion of agroforestry and community-based conservation schemes, and encouragement of plantation and reforestation programs should be implemented. The success was restricted. Thus, Kio (2002) proposed a radical shift in forest policy aimed at mobilizing the rural population in the interest of long-term development. Another way to protect and conserve the forest is to raise awareness among indigenous peoples and the general public through Environmental Education. In addition, illegal logging and bush burning are being investigated. The primary focus of this study is the prevalence of deforestation in the Odighi Community of Ovia North East Local Government Area, Benin City, Edo State. The community is located on the Benin-Akure road. The primary occupations of the people in the community are farming and The population is estimated to be over 2,000 people, making it one of the most densely populated areas or communities around the axes. The soil here is very fertile, making it ideal for growing a wide range of crops such as cassava, yam, plantain, vegetable, maize, and forest trees. Odighi’s forest reserve compartment is surrounded by neighboring villages such as Igbekhue, Oke, and Odiguetue. The forest reserve’s landmass is estimated to be 215 ha. Approximately twenty-five years ago, the compartment was a heavily forested area with a high biodiversity of species including trees and animals; however, due to deforestation, the compartment is now a shadow of its former self, with the area completely converted to grassland (bare land). The The trend is continued by the presence of cattle searchers in the community, who routinely set fire to the residue forest for unknown reasons. The study seeks to investigate the incidence of deforestation, its rate of occurrence, and the extent to which it has harmed the environment, as well as to propose potential measures for controlling future deforestation in the Odighi community’s forest compartment.


Deforestation is a serious problem in Nigeria because the forest provides important economic, social, and ecological benefits, as well as forest products and services to the people. The forest compartment was once a vast forested land; what could have been the possible causes of forest tree loss, and how fast does the loss occur?

Could it be because of population growth, which causes settlements to expand?

Could it be due to rural or indigenous farmers practicing subsistence farming?

Could it be because of illegal logging?

Or is it the result of a combination of two or more factors, and what are the environmental consequences of the deforestation process in the area?


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