This session deals with studies on the impacts of forest management regarding the sustainable production of timber, NTFPs and their impact on the carbon cycle, biodiversity and local livelihoods. As none of these issues can be addressed without considering the socio-ecological nexus between water, food, energy and sustainable income, a stand-alone view of the forestry sector is incomplete. One of the main questions is whether integrated management of different resources in forest systems is better addressed holistically in a nexus framework rather than as separate resources. The complexity of the inter-linkages between sectors and their impact on forest resources availability/management is something that requires more research and understanding. There is also an urgent need to improve these inter-connections and scientific information of linkages for policy makers of the continent. Oral and poster communication will be welcome from scientists working on the (i) the silviculture, the conservation or the exploitation of the vast forest resources, (ii) on the linkages between forestry, food supply and water use, and (iii) on the socioecological and socioeconomic dimension of African forests. Submissions covering any the forest ecosystems (mangrove, mountain, arid, humid, moist, wet, etc..) on the continent will be welcome.
Chair: Dr Stephan Pietsch
Nigerians depend on fish for maintaining diverse and healthy diets. Fish are a key source of protein and micronutrients, both of which are important for healthy diets. Some research has shown that forests provide important ecosystem functions that support the productive capacity and sustainability of inland fisheries. Our study aims to empirically assess the relationship between forest cover around rivers and fish consumption. We use data from the Living Standards Measurement Survey (LSMS) and spatially merge household and village data with forest cover and river maps. We estimate the relationship between forest cover around rivers and average village fresh fish consumption, whilst also accounting for other socio-economic and geographical determinants.
We find that that the density of forest cover around rivers is positively and significantly correlated with village consumption of fresh fish. Our results suggest that forests influence the consumption of fresh fish by improving the productivity of inland fisheries and increasing the availability of fish. Thus clearing forests for agriculture in order to produce more agricultural crops, might have the unintended consequence of reducing another important food source.