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Ecosystem services of the Niger Delta Forests, Nigeria

Jasper Ezenwaka
Anil Graves


This research aimed to appraise the Niger Delta forest ecosystem services. The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment framework was used to categorize the potential benefits from the Niger Delta forests. Data was collected from 90 respondents drawn from selected rural and urban communities. While the urban respondents were aware of all the range of services provided by the forest, the rural respondents had zero knowledge of many of the services. Despite the good knowledge of ecosystem services by the urban respondents, only 42.5% were aware of fresh water provisioning services and only 27.5% were aware of water purification services. Both the urban and rural respondents had preference for the “provisioning services”. Rural populations were particularly dependent on consumptive and extractive benefits for livelihoods and wellbeing. The results highlighted the dependency of local people on provisioning services for basic livelihood requirements and the asymmetric distribution of education and information regarding forest benefits between urban and rural populations. The need for environmental awareness creation and improved access to information of the unseen and un-valued benefits of the Niger Delta forest ecosystem is emphasized.

Keywords: Livelihoods, forest, ecosystem, services, Niger-Delta

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eISSN: 1595-7470