Policymakers have been charged to synergise and harmonise measures to tackle fuelwood extraction to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for affordable and clean energy and climate action.
One of the experts and a United Kingdom (UK) professor, Lindsay Stringer, who has been on the project, said cross-sectoral dialogue between Nigeria’s stakeholders is essential in developing solutions to issues surrounding fuelwood use in cooking.
Stringer said Nigeria lost 17,400 kilometers of forest across the three states of Federal Capital Territory, Nasarawa and Kaduna between 2000 and 2020.
She said the Nigerian energy security activities must prioritise strategies and develop relevant supports and incentives to transform clean energy access, harnessing local willingness for change while tackling health and environmental challenges.
On his part, the dean of the Faculty of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Bayero University Kano (BUK) and the project lead in Nigeria, Professor Aliyu Barau, said more than 70 percent of Nigerian households rely on fuelwood for cooking.
Barau said, the situation exerts more pressure on Nigeria’s forest assets and will have negative effects on the national efforts geared towards landscape restoration, biodiversity and ecosystem services, climate action and other multidimensional challenges, vulnerabilities and risks.
Barau said rising prices of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) might also push more to resort to charcoal and fuelwood, stressing that: “It may look unimportant to some why our focus on cooking with fuelwood.