Crisis as loggers deplete Cross River forests. AlabaMusic
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Crisis as loggers deplete Cross River forests.

Crisis as loggers deplete Cross River forests.

Crisis as loggers deplete Cross River forests.

Cross River State forest is fast depleting as over 91,000 tons of timber leave the state every year due to illegal logging.

Environmental experts are worried that with the reckless logging in the forests, in the next 10 years, the state may not have any forest again.

The experts raised the alarm at a one-day workshop in Calabar to mark this year’s World Environment Day, organised by Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN), in collaboration with the Cross River-based Community Forest Watch (CFW) with the theme: “Only One Earth, Living Sustainably with Nature.”

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Presenting a keynote address at the workshop, Associate Professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Science of the University of Calabar, Dr. Raphael Offiong, said the rate of illegal logging is so high that “250 tons of timber is taken out every day in the state and in 10 days 2, 500 tons are lost and in a year 91,250 tons of timber leave Cross River. In the process of logging, small trees and other features in the forest are destroyed.”

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Crisis as loggers deplete Cross River forests.

Offiong said a study carried out in 2017 showed so much forest loss in the state and “we will not have our forest again in next 10 years, going by the rate of logging and deforestation going on in the state now. The state used to have 10 forest charge but most are gone.”

In his remarks, ERA/I Executive Director, Dr. Godwin Uyi Ojo, who was represented by Dr. Mourice Ollory of CFW, charged governments at all levels “to partner with civil society organisations and communities to address the triple planetary crisis.”

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Director, Cross River State Forestry Commission, Dr. Ekpenyong Ita, said the greatest challenge the state and its forests are facing is the issue of moratorium, which was introduced in 2008 to check illegal logging for two years. He lamented that though the ban was still in place, logging has been going on.

 

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