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Review of Environment and Earth Sciences

June 2016, Volume 3, 1, pp 10-21

Forest as a Redeemer: Experiences Drawn from Selected Rural Ejagham Communities in Etung Local Government Area of Cross River State, Nigeria

Okpiliya, F. I.

,

Oka, P.O.

,

Mbu, J.

Okpiliya, F. I. 1 ,

Oka, P.O. 1 Mbu, J. 1 
  1. Department of Geography and Environmental Science, University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria 1

Pages: 10-21

DOI: 10.18488/journal.80.2016.31.10.21

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Abstract:

The role of forest in sustaining the lives of man generally cannot be over-emphasised. Generally, forest provides opportunities for food, shelter, trado-medical services, ecological services and income. The objective of this study is to evaluate the role of forest resources in the provision of food for the people of Etung in Cross River State. Six communities were chosen for the study. They include, Abia, Agbokim, Ajassor, Abijang, Etomi and Nsofang. One thousand, nine hundred copies of questionnaires were distributed to household heads in the study area. The student ‘t’ test was used to test for the seasonal variation in the number of persons involved in the exploitation and utilization of forest resources. The result of the study indicated that forest is a major source of food as it provides mushrooms, seed and spices, fruits, vegetables and a great variety of animals for the people of Etung. Also income generated in the area ranged from N10,000 to over N100,000 during the dry and rainy seasons. The student ‘t’ test analysis for the variation in the level of involvement of the people in the exploitation and utilization of forest resources revealed that there was significant seasonal variation in the level of involvement  of the people of Etung in only two forest resources – medicinal plants, (t(1938) = 3.416, P<.05)  and leafy vegetables, -(1938) =3.335, P<0.05). On the other hand the number of people involved in the exploitation of the other nine forest resources was not significant.

Contribution/ Originality
This Study documents the role of forest resources as a source of food for livelihood sustainability in the rural communities of Ejagham in Etung Local Government Area of Cross River State. This study also examined the level of involvement of the people of Etung in forest resource exploitation and utilization. Finally, this paper examined the seasonal variation in the level of involvement of the people in the study area in forest resource exploitation.

Keywords:

Forest, Redeemer, Rural, Communities, Livelihood, Sustainability.

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Reference:

  1. A. F. Schimper, Plant geography upon a physiological basis. London: O. U. P, 1903.
  2. F. I. Okpiliya, "Allure of Flora species diversity in the tropical rainforest ecosystem: The ned for concern in a global context," Global Journal of Science Frontier Research. Environment and Earth Science, vol. 14, pp. 35-39, 2014.
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  4. M. D. Alexander and O. Effa, "Non-timber forest products and their place in the state: From biodiversity to top twenty," presented at the Workshop Report, Cross River State Forestry Projectct, 1994.
  5. A. C. Omuluabi, "Trade of timber forest products in Cross River State of Nigeria," A Report Prepared for the CRSEP (ODA) Assisted Forestry Development Headquarters, Calabar1994.
  6. R. Miah, Non timber forest products and co-management: A case of chunatic wildlife sanctuary. Bangladesh: Institute of Forestry and Environmental Science, University of Chiltagong, 2008.
  7. O. Areola, Soil and vegetation resources. In Oguntoyinbo, Areola and Filani (Eds). A geography of Nigerian development. Ibadan: Heinemann, 1978.
  8. F. I. Okpiliya, E. B. Effiong, E. Imoke, and E. I. Eja, "Mangrove forest ecosystem utilization and depletion: Implication for occupational changes in Calabar South, Nigeria," European Journal of Sustainable Development, vol. 2, pp. 149-162, 2013.

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