Town neighboring forests in the tropics suffer high human pressure owing to unregulated harvest to supply domestic energy and equipment. Although this causes considerable source of income among communities, it poses significant deforestation, thus, jeopardizing carbon accumulation potentials of most of the forests. This study therefore assessed the stock, structure and use of common woody species in a town neighboring forest reserve to elucidate the reserve’s carbon accumulation potential amid pressures from surrounding communities. It was found out that the structure of the forest had been altered following unregulated tree harvest. There were selective harvesting and removal of valued timber trees, and key species that otherwise are responsible in regulating the ecosystem functioning of the reserve. It was apparent that the unregulated harvest is likely to jeopardize the ecosystem functioning and carbon accumulation potential of the reserve. Thus, to manage the reserve sustainably, awareness education on forest biodiversity conservation among surrounding local communities is recommended. We also recommend exploration of the reserve for ecotourism potentials. This might stimulate ecotourism activities in the area and provide an alternative source of income among the local population. This would add value and sense of ownership and stimulate self-mobilization for protection of the reserve.
Part of the book: Forest Biomass and Carbon