World Bank, Nigeria (ongoing)

The World Bank is supporting evidence-based policy development in Nigeria for improved climate resilience and more sustainable environmental management. We are leading a specialised team undertaking an analysis of the drivers of tree cover loss in Nigeria, in order to guide policies and actions that will address those drivers. Further to a Scoping Study in April 2023, which identified eight primary drivers of deforestation and forest degradation, the analysis will focus on agriculture and woodfuels. In the agricultural sector we will look in-depth at forest-risk commodity chains (e.g. cocoa and palm oil), while in the woodfuels sector we will consider opportunities to reduce forest degradation linked to the production of charcoal.

The analysis will use publicly available satellite imagery and other digital datasets, processed using open-source software, to ensure that the process is inexpensive and replicable. Using machine learning, we will train the classification algorithms to produce accurate time series maps of land use and land cover, and to identify the drivers of change over time at the specific sites of forest loss. This is the first application of this approach in Nigeria, and should advance understanding of the processes behind each forest transition.

The work is being undertaken as part of the Bank-supported Natural Capital Accounting Process, led by the National Bureau of Statistics in collaboration with a technical working group drawn from (among others) the Federal Ministry of Forestry, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, and the National Space Research and Development Agency.