Forests are key component of our environment; they serve as habitat for both flora and fauna, acts as source of livelihoods. The trees acts as carbon sinks helping to mitigate climate change impacts. Fallen probes man’s activities in the environment in relation to the rapid depletion of forests and grasslands in Nigeria.
According to the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), Nigeria loses about 350,000 hectares annually of her forest to deforestation – that is almost the land mass of Lagos which is 367,100 hectares putting Nigeria in serious environmental and climate crisis.
Nigeria’s burgeoning population and sprawling urbanization threatens our forests, as they have to be cleared for farming and for erecting buildings. Deforestation is fueled by the rising demand for wooden products meant for local use and export. Another critical reason for deforestation is the energy poverty suffered by the many Nigerians especially rural dwellers. They fell trees to be used for cooking and lighting.
Deforestation has adverse effects on humans, biodiversity and the environment at large – forests serve as carbon sinks that absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere. However, the clearing of forests means the sequestered carbon ends up in the atmosphere thereby contributing significantly to warming of the earth. The degradation of forests leads to biodiversity loss which disrupts the balance in the ecosystem.
If this activity is not urgently checked, we stand the chance of losing our flora and fauna, and contributing to global climate crisis and its impacts. Fallen as a visual narrative aims to increase awareness on this environmental issue and encourage everyone to take climate action by saving our forests. This project was embarked upon by ‘Wole Hammond a documentary photographer based in Nigeria.