|Reducing Emissions from Deforestation, Cross River State, Nigeria
The governor of Cross River State, Liyel Imoke,
has instituted a two-year logging moratorium and empowered a public-private task force to enforce the logging ban. Governor Imoke’s bold decision resulted from a June 2008 Stakeholders Workshop on the Environment recommendation for a temporary logging moratorium and development of a framework to attract carbon credits for forest conservation. From recent accounts from observers in Cross River State, the export of illegal logs out of this amazing area has virtually stopped. The Governor’s task force has been seizing illegal timber and impounding logging trucks. Governor Imoke sent a letter in February 2009, officially committing the state to working on REDD+ and empowering Odigha Odigha to speak on behalf of the government.
Cross River State’s forests are one of Africa’s biodiversity hotspots. They harbor unique populations of gorilla and chimpanzee and provide habitat for the drill, a highly endangered primate related to baboons and mandrills.
TFG is partnering with ERM and Tunde Morakinyo to support two local conservation groups, Pandrillus and NGOCE, as they support the Cross River State government’s bold step to reduce emissions from deforestation. TFG is helping Pandrillus and NGOCE to identify partners, raise funds, provide REDD training and workshops, and assist with forest carbon measurements and baselines. In 2011 an announcement was made for consultants to help frame REDD+ issues in Nigeria and Cross River State.
Photo: A land rover makes its way through what is now the Afi Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary of Cross River State. Many of the magnificent trees pictured here have been logged in the past decade. Photo credit J Niles, 1992.
Article from the Guardian, 30th January 2009
|C’River seizes 60 trucks over illegal logging
From Anietie Akpan, Calabar
DETERMINED to protect its forest, Cross River State government has impounded about 60 trucks with timber for illegal logging.
The state government had on January 12, 2009, set up a five-man task force on anti-deforestation headed by the Special Adviser on Special Duties, Mr. Casmier Obok and consequently banned the transportation and cutting of timber.
Briefing journalists in Calabar on Wednesday evening, Obok said the trucks were arrested within the two weeks the taskforce commenced work and they would not be released until full compliance with the directives of the state government.
"We don’t intend to look elsewhere while the people destroy our forest. Total war has been set on our forest and it is the duty of the taskforce to redeem the forest because if we allow the invaders, our environment and the nation will be in trouble".
He accused non-indigenes of getting illegal concessions in collaboration with officials of the state Forestry Commission to exploit the Cross River forest, which is the remaining of the five per cent of the country’s rain forest".
However, he explained that "the emphasis on non-indigenes is not that we don’t want indigenes but we want them to get their permits and so that they won’t be reckless with the forest".
Obok said since the task force started, "we have over 60 trucks loaded and moved out of the state without permit. People just get into the forest and cut down anything. Within two weeks, we have impounded over 60 trucks and we will keep them for two weeks and the culprits are fined N250,000".
Source: Guardian, 30th January 2009.
Odigha Odigha Profiled at Ecosystem Marketplace
March 15, 2010. TFG has been partnered with Odigha Odigha’s NGO Coalition for the Environment since 2008. Below is a March 2010 article about Odigha’s work and life as one of West Africa’s most dedicated forest conservationists. Odigha Odigha: Speaking Truth to Power
Odigha Odigha (NGOCE), John Niles (TFG), Julius Okputu (Cross River State Commissioner for Environment) and Peter Jenkins (Pandrillus) meet after a Cross River Stakeholder Meeting on the Environment recommended a 2-year logging ban for the rainforested state, contingent on adequate carbon finance.
TFG Photo 2008.
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