Department of Social and Environmental Forestry, Faculty of Renewable Natural Resources,University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria.
The study assessed conflicts between Government Gazetted Forest Reserves and Agricultural Land Uses in Southwest Nigeria with a view to harmonising land uses and promoting peaceful co-existence. The specific objectives were to examine the status of Gazetted Forest Reserves and identify conflicting areas with Agricultural Land Uses in the study area; verify land scarcity in the landowning communities; identify prevailing causes and effects of the conflicts; and investigate factors that would harmonize gazetted forest reserves and agricultural land uses. Data collection methods used were landsat satellite imageries and structured questionnaire. Results indicated that the original sizes of gazetted forest reserves in Ilaro, Omo, Akure, Oluwa, Ago-owu, Shasha, Ijaiye and Gambari were 44.42, 1305, 73.53, 859.87, 342.01, 319.68, 284.91 and 114km2, respectively. However, from 1990 to 2017 (27 Years), the forest cover had been reducedto37.84,699.80,38.45,686.74,240.70,218.33,135.36and56.57km2. The percentage changes in forest cover from 1990 to 2017 were -9.41, -35.79, -33.18, -11.02, -17.89,-13.69, –
19.00 and -47.64. Land use rights were contradictory in the policies enunciated in Agriculturaland Forestry sectors. The respondents affirmed the scarcity of land for farming as very high (86.32%). The causes and effects of land use conflicts were categorised under three main dimensions as land use decree/policy; institutional and management; and stakeholders.The extent to which the policies recognize and integrate Landowning Communities has remained a challenge characterised by feeble implemantation. Harmonization of Government Gazetted Forest Reserve and Agricultural Land Uses (HGGFRALU) was best predicted by Intensive Management of Agricultural Land in the study Area (IMALA) with odds ratio 615.52. There were a lot of conflicts between Gazetted Forest Reserves and Agricultural Land Uses in Ogun, Ondo, Osun and Oyo States, Nigeria. There is the need to integrate conflict management strategies in national policyframeworks.
Keywords: Gazetted forest reserve, land hunger, agricultural land use, conflicts, forest cover.