Monday, February 20th, 2024

Pearson 304 (Studio C) & on Zoom
Hosted by UD-GIS. All are welcome to attend in person or on Zoom.


  • Presentation
  • Up Coming Events
  • GIS Spring Workshop
  • Round table discussion
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Forest Loss and Dietary Diversity in Nigeria: Reassessing the Impact of Cropland Expansion

Expansion Climate change challenges agriculture and food security in Nigeria, Africa’s leading food producer. One response has been cropland expansion, possibly impacting local diets and ecosystems. In our study of 18 southern states containing over 95% of Nigeria’s forests, we assessed the relationship between climate anomalies, forest loss from cropland expansion, and dietary outcomes. We found around 23% of annual forest loss can be explained by the climate variability. Using rural household surveys, we examined if increased cropland correlates with better child dietary diversity, a nutritional adequacy marker. Initial forest cover positively impacted child diets, but forest loss didn’t. Thus, expanding croplands at forests’ expense isn’t boosting local nutrition. Prioritizing nutrition-sensitive climate adaptation can protect forests and improve diets simultaneously.

Bhoktear Khan, PhD Candidate, Teaching Assistant, Department of Geography and Spatial Sciences

Bhoktear is a third-year Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Geography and Spatial Sciences at the University of Delaware. Bhoktear holds a BS degree in Agriculture and MS degree in Agroforestry and Environment with a major focus in GIS and Remote Sensing, both from Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Agricultural University. During his master’s program, he studied Rohingya people’s migration and relocation in Bangladesh using geospatial techniques. In the first chapter of my PhD dissertation, I delved deep into the critical issue of deforestation in Nigeria, attributing its acceleration to factors such as climate change and the expansion of croplands. While cropland expansion might seem like a solution to food scarcity, my research indicates otherwise, which shows the need to re-evaluate land-use strategies in Nigeria.