Key dimensions of land users’ perceptions of land degradation and sustainable land management in Niger State, Nigeria

Adenle, Ademola A.; Boillat, Sébastien-Pierre; Speranza, Chinwe Ifejika (2022). Key dimensions of land users’ perceptions of land degradation and sustainable land management in Niger State, Nigeria Environmental Challenges, 8, p. 100544. Elsevier 10.1016/j.envc.2022.100544

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Declining land productivity remains a challenge for agriculture-based livelihoods and for achieving food security. Yet identifying how land users perceive land degradation and their capacity to manage land in an environmentally sustainable manner can influence the measures initiated to address it. Using the case of Niger State, Nigeria, this study examines land users’ perceptions of land degradation and land management measures to address it in the Nigerian Guinea Savannah. We used the Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer derived Normalized Difference Vegetation Index as a proxy for degradation status, selecting 30 communities based on the extent of degraded areas. We adapted the World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies, Sustainable Land Management questionnaires to capture perceptions and administered 225 questionnaires to land users. Through key informant interviews, we collected narrative insights and data on perspectives and motivations of land users to understand land degradation situations and to interpret the questionnaire surveys. We analysed data through descriptive statistics, Principal Component Analysis and qualitative analysis. Our analysis identified four perceptions dimensions of land degradation characteristics, two perceptions dimensions of land degradation drivers, and six perceptions dimensions of sustainable land management. The results also confirmed that degradation in Niger State is both due to widespread unsustainable human activities within Niger state and those by migrant farmers and pastoralism from adjoining Sudan Sahelian states that push people further south, a leakage of ongoing land degradation and conflicts in other areas. To deal with local land degradation in Niger State, improved land tenure, alternative livelihood strategies, poverty eradication and awareness, nature-based sustainable land management practices such as tree-based initiatives, environmentally friendly agriculture such as Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration supported by the necessary political will and institutions are critical.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences HAFL


Adenle, Ademola A.;
Boillat, Sébastien-Pierre0000-0002-8035-6335 and
Speranza, Chinwe Ifejika


G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography








Sébastien-Pierre Boillat

Date Deposited:

22 Jan 2024 15:32

Last Modified:

22 Jan 2024 15:32

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Land users Perceptions Land degradation Sustainable land management Savannah Nigeria




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