Forests are essential resources for human survival and well-being.
Within developing countries, millions of extremely poor people depend on
forest resources for their livelihoods and security. The forest
resources of Taraba State has witnessed high timber and fuelwood
exploitation, bush burning, expansion of farmlands and grazing
activities. Despite the existence of forest legislation in the state,
illegal logging and indiscriminate forest resource exploitation has
continued to increase at alarming rate. This makes it imperative to
reappraise the forestry legislation in the state and the challenges of
effective enforcement of these legislations. Data were generated from
secondary materials, personal observation and interviews with officials
of the Department of Forestry. The study findings shows that with
increase in population, people need to expand their settlements and
require more lands to cultivate in order to meet increasing food
requirement. This leads to encroachment into forestry reserve. Poor
logistics and weak institutional framework hampers the capacity of the
forestry officials to enforce forestry legislation. This has resulted in
the depletion of Forest resources particularly timber and woody plant
resources. Some of the problems includes lack of political will on the
part of government, underfunding, lack of or dilapidated
office/accommodation, inadequate manpower, lack of equipment, lack of
capacity building, Government preference and emphasis on revenue
generation as against biodiversity conservation, Conspiracy of forestry
officers, village heads and chiefs with merchant timber loggers, lack of
effective supervision, coordination and enforcement of forest
legislations. The study recommends the need for the government to be
more proactive on the issues of enforcement of forestry legislation.
This study has contributed to the ongoing discussion on the challenges
of effective enforcement of forestry legislation in Nigeria as a means
of protecting forest and wildlife resources.
Enforcement, Forestry, Forest reserve, Legislation and Taraba state.
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This study received no specific financial support.
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
All authors contributed equally to the conception and design of the study.