1 1.BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Climate change contributes to land and other natural resource degradation. Besides exposing soils to extreme and unfavorable conditions, climate change reduces the ability of some land management practices to achieve desired results (Malo, Jember and Woodfine, 2012). Land use is generally marked by a coinciding set of interests dictated by agriculture, forestry, settlement, infrastructure and industry; however, “climate change affects these interests by influencing soil fertility, water resources and biomass accumulation through changing and more extreme weather patterns” (Streck, 2010). This results in vegetation cover degradation and loss of biodiversity, organic matter depletion, poor infiltration of rainwater and reduced capacity of soils to hold water and hence productivity losses (Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), 2014). In fact, annual cropland productivity losses in Sub-Saharan Africa are between 0.5-1 percent suggesting 20% productivity loss over the last 40 years (World Meteorological Organization (WMO), 2015).
In Nigeria, it is projected that increased rainfall intensity, brought about by climate change, could lead to land degradation especially through flooding, erosion of farmlands, and a decrease in soil fertility (Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN), 2011). Rural Linkage Network, (2011) found that 89.0%, of farmers in Niger Delta Nigeria, experienced heavy rainfall pattern and this could subsequently lead to land degradation and reduced output. In fact, rain negatively affected cassava output between the years 1980 and 2011 in Imo State Nigeria (Nwaobiala and Nottidge, 2013). Also, catastrophic flooding in Nigeria in 2012 led to the degradation of farmlands and crop loss amounting to 305.1 billion naira (FGN, 2013).
To reduce land degradation especially due to climate change and avert a subsequent decline in crop yield, there is a need to strengthen the use of responsible agricultural management, for example, sustainable land management practices (sustainable land management). Sustainable land management refers to “knowledge-based procedure that helps integrate land, water, biodiversity, and environmental management to meet rising food and fibre demands while sustaining ecosystem services and livelihoods” (World Bank, 2016). Sustainable land management practices involve conservation agriculture, soil and water conservation, integrated ecosystem management practices and natural resources management (Motavalli, Nelson, Udawatta, Jose and Bardhun, 2013). These strategies have often been used for climate change adaptation. For example, most farmers in Ethiopia consider soil and water conservation techniques a key strategy in climate change adaptation (Deressa, Hassen, Alemu, Yesuf and Ringler, 2018). Many sustainable land management technologies, for example, improved agronomic practices; nutrient management, irrigation, among others will help facilitate climate change adaptation, increase average productivity, and reduce the variability of production (TerrAfrica, 2011). Therefore, to strengthen the use of sustainable land management practices in adaptation to climate change effects, especially through policy initiatives, there is a need to find out the determinants of the use of sustainable land management in climate change adaptation by farm households especially in the Eastern part of Nigeria, a part of the derived savannah zone where household’s vulnerability to climate change is highest in Nigeria (Adewuyi, Folorunso, Okojie, and Akerele, 2014).
Although, previous studies have found some determinants of sustainable land management practices, for example, Heyi and Mberengwa, (2012) found that education status, access to extension influenced the use of manure and terracing in Tole district in Ethiopia; Zeleke and Aberra (2014) found that the most statistically significant determinants of adopting land management strategies were agro-ecological zone, family size, livestock ownership and access to climate information; Saguye (2017) found that age (younger age) number of livestock owned, extension contact, and perception of severity of land degradation influenced sustainable land management practice; the practices considered in this study are different. Besides, there is a need for more evidence, especially from Nigeria to enhance sustainable land management policy initiatives considering that sustainable land management is a complex issue and is influenced by different factors at a different scale (Heyi and Mberengwa, 2012). Jegede (2014) stressed the need to safeguard local people through “land sensitive” adaptation policies by governments. Many sustainable land management practices can simultaneously achieve both adaptation and mitigation goals, especially those that increase soil organic carbon. Sustainable Land Management represents a preventative approach to climate change that can reduce the need for costly ex post coping measures, like changing crops and livelihoods, clearing new lands for agriculture and migration. The predicted negative yield impacts of climate change are often dwarfed by proven positive yield impacts of improved land management. In addition to positive impacts on average yields, many sustainable land management practices reduce the variability of agricultural production (for example, soil and water conservation and organic practices that improve soil moisture holding capacity or integrated pest management practices that reduce vulnerability to pests), while others can help to diversify agricultural income (for example, agro forestry with non-timber tree products or crop rotations). A combination of sustainable land management practices can be used to combat the different manifestations of climate change (GBM, 2011). Sustainable land management practices are adopted on only a small percentage of agricultural land in Nigeria. Degradation of agricultural land and expansion of agriculture into forests, woodlands and bush land are continuing at a rapid pace. The research therefore reviews impact of sustainable land management on climate change mitigation and adaptation through afforestation and reforestation.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Human development and environmental sustainability are highly interlinked and threatened by the major anthropogenic-driven environmental challenges of our time. Scientific evidence shows that atmospheric, geological, geomorphological, hydrological, biospheric and other earth system processes, are heavily altered by the human intervention. As a result, there is a consensus that we are in a new human-dominated geological epoch (Lewis & Maslin, 2015). Direct human interactions with the natural environment, especially in the domain of socio-ecological systems, are complex and happen at multiple scales. This scale ranges from the local land owners, and regional and national land-use planning, to the global demand and supply of services and trade patterns. It is thus of primary importance to enhance our understanding of the inter-linkages between climate change, land degradation and biodiversity loss, to subsequently improve our capacity to respond to these challenges. Indeed, scientists, policy makers and other social actors are increasingly recognizing the need to identify and pursue synergies among Global Change issues, especially related to desertification, land degradation and drought, and climate change mitigation and adaptation.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The main aim of the study is to evaluate farmer’s use of sustainable land management practices for climate change adaptation in Imo state Specific objectives of the study are:
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1) What are the benefits of farmer’s use of sustainable land management in Imo state?
2) What are the sustainable land management practices that are used by farmers for climate change adaptation in Imo state?
3) What is the relationship between efficient use of sustainable land management practices and climate change adaptive process in Imo state?
4) What are the determinants of use of the major sustainable land management practices identified in climate change adaptation?
5) What are the challenges faced by farmers in the implementation of sustainable land management for climate change adaptation in Imo state?
1.5 HYPOTHESES OF THE STUDY
HO: There is no significant impact of the efficient use of sustainable land management practices on the adaptive process of climate change in Imo state
H1: There is a significant impact of efficient use of sustainable land management practices on the adaptive process of climate change in Imo state
HO: There is no significant relationship between efficient use of sustainable land management practices and adaptive-processes to climate-change
H1: There is a significant relationship between efficient use of sustainable land management practices and adaptive-processes to climate-change
The findings of this study will be beneficial to government, agricultural extension workers, farmers and other researchers. The study will provide information on the perceived extent to which climate change has impacted on farming practices. The information will help government to encourage and support farmers in production activities. The knowledge of the findings would help the government to make policies on how to check the effects of climate change on agriculture in Imo state and Nigeria in general. The study will provide information to agricultural extension workers on adaptation strategies, which they could teach the farmers to adapt to in such situations. One of the purposes of the study is to discover the suitable strategies for alleviating the impact of climate. The information would serve as a body of knowledge for the agricultural extension workers who teach the farmers on improved land management practices. The study will suggest to the farmers suitable adaptation options in coping with climate change effects on land use. An understanding of the impacts of climate change would help the framers to mount appropriate strategies to keep agricultural practices profitable to matching the varying trend in farming activities. The study could be used as a resource material on climate change and its impact on agriculture for researchers who may be interested in researching on related topics. The research is equipped with the findings on the impacts of climate change on sustainable land management practices.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study is based on the evaluation of farmer’s use of sustainable land management practices for climate change adaptation in Imo state.
1.8 LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Climate Change: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) defines climate change as a change in the state of the climate that can be identified by changes in the mean and / or the variability of its properties and that persists for an extended period, typically decades or longer.
Sustainable Land Management (SLM) Practices: Sustainable land management combines technologies, policies and activities, aimed at integrating socio-economic principles with environmental concerns, so as to simultaneously: maintain or enhance production/services (Productivity); reduce the level of production risk (Security); protect the potential of natural resources, and prevent degradation of soil and water quality (Protection); be economically viable (Viability); and socially acceptable (Acceptability).
Land Use: This is the type of activity being carried out on a unit of land, in urban, rural and conservation settings, land-use types will be considered as cropland, grazing land, forestland, mixed land and others.
Climate Change Adaptation: Climate change adaptation is an adjustment in natural or human systems in response to actual or expected climatic stimuli or their effects, which moderates harm or exploits beneficial opportunities.
Ecosystem Services (ES): These include: a) provisioning services, such as supply of nutritious food and water; b) regulating services such as climate change mitigation, flood management and disease control; c) cultural services, such as spiritual, recreational, and cultural benefits; and d) supporting services, such as nutrient cycling, that maintain the conditions for life on Earth.
Land Degradation: Land degradation therefore implies a persistent reduction of land’s productivity expressed by a declining provision of the land’s ecosystem services, including provisioning and regulating services.
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