Abstract This study expands the scholarship on colonial Nigeria by examining the socio-cultural, economic and political dynamics associated with colonial laws on forest utilisation among the Yoruba – most prominent ethnic nationality in southwestern Nigeria. In Nigeria historical scholarship, this aspect of natural history has not been examined comprehensively. Filling a major gap in literature of African environment and colonialism, it shows that Nigerian scholars have ignored scientific understanding of forestry. Particularly, they have neglected the tradition of animals and plants preservation that existed prior the advent of colonialism owing to colonial literatures that glorified taxonomy. For instance, colonial rule and its arbitrary ordinances -Wild Animal Preservation Ordinance (WAPO) and forest ordinance (FO), were enacted against the intensive human exploitation of the forests. This interrupted and radically reformulated the culture and histories of the indigenous people. Thus, conservation is an ecological cum imperialist outpost that ensured nature colonialism. Efficient transfer of forests commodities from points of origin to imperial centres proved that not just the indigenous population has been subjugated but also their resources. This paper interrogates conservation by exploring the basic colonial periodicals journals. It adopts the use of primary source of data such as oral interviews and archival materials before it concludes that there is more to conservation than mere protection of wildlife and that resources overproduced through good management yielded a surplus for imperialism and allowed the British to achieve its capitalist expropriation. In other words, forests conservation laws that were enforced by the colonialists served to maximize capitalist usurpation. Keywords: conservation, colonialism, and wildlife.
Amusa Kabiru Babatunde
Amusa Kabiru Babatunde graduated from the University of Ibadan in Nigeria with a bachelor's and master's degree in history. Natural history fascinates him. A component of research that includes the politics of environmental protection with the argument over the economic state of Nigeria, one of the British Empire's most wealthy colonies.
Amusa Kabiru Babatunde

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