Estimating urban trees and carbon stock potentials for mitigating climate change in Lagos: Case of Ikeja Government Reserved Area (GRA)

Monday, 15 December 2014
Peter Omu Elias and Adepoju Faderin, University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria
Urban trees are a component of the urban infrastructure which offers diverse services including environmental, aesthetic and economic. The accumulation of carbon in the atmosphere resulting from the indiscriminate distribution of human populations and urban activities with the unsustainable consumption of natural resources contributes to global environmental change especially in coastal cities like Lagos. Carbon stocks and sequestration by urban trees are increasingly recognized to play significant roles for mitigating climate change. This paper focuses on the estimation of carbon stock and sequestration through biomass estimation and quantification in Ikeja GRA, Lagos. Ikeja possesses a characteristic feature as a microcosm of Lagos due to the wide range of land uses. A canopy assessment of tree population was carried out using itree canopy software. A GPS survey was used to collect an inventory of all trees showing their location, spatial distribution and other attributes. The analysis of the carbon storage and sequestration potential of both actual and potential tree planting sites involved biomass estimations from tree allometry equations. Trees were identified at species level and measurements of their dendrometric values were recorded and integrated into the GIS database to estimate biomass of trees and carbon storage. The trees in the study area were estimated to have a biomass of 441.9 mg and carbon storage of 221.395 kg/tree. By considering the potential tree planting sites the estimated carbon stored increased to 11,352.73 kg. Carbon sequestration value in the study area was found to be 1.6790 tonnes for the existing trees and 40.707 tonnes for the potential tree planting sites (PTPS). The estimation of carbon storage and sequestration values of trees are important incentives for carbon accounting/footprints and monitoring of climate change mitigation which has implications for evaluation and monitoring of urban ecosystem.