World Bank, Nigeria (2023-2024)

The World Bank is supporting evidence-based policy development in Nigeria for improved climate resilience and sustainable environmental management. We led a specialised team undertaking an analysis of the drivers of tree cover loss in Nigeria, to guide policies and actions to address those drivers.

A preliminary Scoping Study identified eight main drivers of deforestation and forest degradation, of which we decided to on agriculture and woodfuels. In the agricultural sector we looked in-depth at forest-risk commodity chains, while in the woodfuels sector we considered opportunities to reduce forest degradation linked to the production of charcoal.

Using photo interpretation of very high resolution satellite imagery, we identified the locations of deforestation in Nigeria and the agricultural land uses driving forest loss. We also modelled woodfuel demand countrywide and overlaid this on biomass stocks in the landscape using a friction-layer model, to predict hotspots of supply-demand imbalance.This was the first application of these approaches in Nigeria, and advanced understanding of the processes behind forest conversion. By using publicly available satellite imagery and other digital datasets, analysed and processed using open-source tools such as Collect Earth and QGIS , we ensured that the process was inexpensive and replicable.

The analysis generated a set of recommendations for new initiatives in clean cooking (advanced charcoal stoves and LPG), sustainable agricultural intensification, carbon-financed afforestation and support for compliance with new regulations on forest-risk export commodities.

The work was funded by the Global Program on Sustainability Trust Fund, with support from the governments of Germany, Switzerland and the UK.