Biomass can be defined as organic matter that is available on a renewable basis. It includes forest, agricultural crops and their residues. Biomass burning can therefore be regarded as the setting on fire of forests, woods and crops residues, shrubs and grasses, either intentionally or accidentally. Biomass burning is now recognized as a significant global source of emissions, contributing as much as 40% of gross carbon dioxide and 38% of tropospheric ozone. In Nigeria, biomass burning is widespread as it serves to clear land for shifting cultivation and to remove dry vegetation in order to promote agricultural productivity. Induced burning of trees in forested areas is a common practice in the guinea savanna zone of Nigeria purposely as a means of livelihood. This is done with the view of producing charcoal for domestic use in the urban centres of the country. The current review of the chemical issues in biomass burning in Nigeria has shown that a lot of work is still needed to be carried out, especially in respect to ground-based measurement of the chemical composition of resulting products across different ecological zones in Nigeria. Data are also lacking on the influence of biomass burning on the soil fertility in Nigeria. A collaborative research involving multi-disciplinary scientists from different countries in Sub Saharan African might be necessary for better understanding and for results comparison, and for the purpose of carrying out transport modelling across the continent.
Note : This work is partially presented on 6th Global summit on Climate Change October 21-22, 2019 at Amsterdam, Netherlands
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