Civil Society Organizations in Cross River state have alleged that the Cross River state Government is at the center and the main perpetrator of illegal Forest depletion, destruction and lose.
Reports presented by the CSOs indicates that, the categorization of Cross River as the home of West Africa’s largest pristine rain forest is highly in doubt considering that the 50 per cent status of the Nigeria’s rain forest remaining in the state has drastically decreased year after year from 1990.
Accordingly, between 1991 and 2010, Cross River lost 1,514 km2 of forest, resulting to 12 per cent of the total cover. Another 17.64 per cent was lost in 8 years between 2000 to 2008 which makes up for 17.64 per cent.
Other deta from CSOs show that between 2007 to 2014, more 1,070km2 in seven years. According to the Civil Society Organizations who include; We The People, the Rainforest Resources and Development Centre, and Citizen’s Solution Network; the forest depletion is done via a host of factors like illegal logging, agriculture, urbanization amongst others.
Presenting the report chief Executive of Rainforest Resources and Development Center, Odey Oyama, said, “the forest have come under severe attacks by several actors, including the state government, plantations companies and illegal loggers. Also Ken Henshaw expressed worries that the CSOs may resort to legal actions, describing the act of Forest depletion as a criminal offence.
Recall that the state government earlier in August 2022 had reportedly lift the ban on forest logging in Cross River state; The decision of the government was made public in Calabar through the Chairman, Cross River State Forestry Commission, Chief Tony Undiandeye.
He said, “the decision of the Government was to enable government improve on its internal revenue base, adding that the harsh economic situation in the country and the huge burden, it has placed on government, has made the recent decision imperative adding that it has become incumbent on government to think outside the box.”