I am young and loving “Green”

Farmers in Dutsin-Ma and their saplings

Farmers in Dutsin-Ma and their saplings

Since my childhood, I have loved “Green”. I have developed passion for Sustainable forest Development and Biodiversity conservation in my Nigeria and the world at large, and my background in Forest Economic and management have augmented my capacity as a Forestry professional, with which skills I exhibit my various projects. For these reason I have brought together a number of young people who are willing and able to support my initiative.

We have just concluded a project on assessment of Biodiversity and threats to sustainable management of woody species in the agroecosystem of Dutsin-Ma local government area, Katsina State Nigeria which is a semi-arid zone of Nigeria. Globally, forest management objectives prioritizes trees, which are “timber viable” and situated in the “forest” without taking trees in agroecosystems into cognizance. However, these woody species play a life sustaining role in the livelihood of most rural people especially in the agroecosytems of Semi- Arid West Africa. The main aim of carrying out the project was due to perceived threat to woody species population in Dutsin-Ma and the diminishing environmental benefits which were attached.

At the nursery raising seedlings

At the nursery raising seedlings

Although it wasn’t easy to carry out such project as the team leader, being a “lady” considering the socioeconomic and religious peculiarities of Northern Nigeria, but with the leadership skills I have acquired overtime and enthusiastic youth of Dutsin-Ma, the project became a success. The community dwellers of Dutsin-Ma local government are very poor, an average person lives on less than $1 per day. Hence, woody species constitute a major supplement to food, energy and livelihood of these community dwellers.

The project therefore was directed at determining the population status of the remaining woody species, assessing the major source of threat to the sustainable management of these woody species, thereby using this information to proscribe sustainable management option that best suits this agroecosystem, bearing in mind that most woody species exists in agroforestry settings in the area. We were able to determine the status of woody species in Dutsin-Ma and we did have some idea of socio-economically viable species, which were fast diminishing and at such are, of conservation importance. With our findings, we were able to alert the State Forest Department and with my affiliation in the Federal University situated in Dutsin-Ma we were able to carry out some enrichment planting project and distribution of seedlings to community dwellers in the agroecosystem.

In the future, we intend coordinating project that would attract stakeholders involvement especially women, into sustainable forest development in the State. We also intend to replicate such effort in some other parts of the Nigeria. We are also planning to launch a platform ‘Voices of People Passionate about the environment’ (VOPPEN), a non- governmental organization which will bring together young natural resources professionals and help them to make their own contributions toward sustainable development.

Stakeholders who have noticed any form of environmental damage especially to natural resources like Forest, trees, wildlife, as well as aquatic organism are free to lay their complain. We at VOPPEN on the other hand can call the attention of concerned authorities to the situation and in our own way, intervene to solve the problem. Apart from other channels, VOPPEN group will use the social media channel for easy accessibility, and in coming years we will also include the use of mass media.

Blogpost and main picture submitted by Dauda Temitope Hauwa (Nigeria) – temitopeoladigbolu(at)yahoo.co.uk
Additional picture courtesy Mua’mmar Aminu

The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.

This post is published as entry #31 of our #Forests2015 blog competition. It is submitted in the “Youth” category.

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