Deforestation: Cross River Stakeholders Seek Disbandment Of Task Force, Stronger Will To Tackle Illegal Logging
Breaking News Civic Space Reports

Deforestation: Cross River Stakeholders Seek Disbandment Of Task Force, Stronger Will To Tackle Illegal Logging

By Etido Okon

Stakeholders in the environment sector on Wednesday called on Cross River Governor, Senator Bassey Otu to “stamp his feet on the ground” in order to end the menace of illegal logging in the State.

They also sought the immediate disbandment of the Anti-Deforestation taskforce set up by the Governor a few days after he took the oath of office.

These, alongside others, formed part of the resolutions for the second edition of the multi-stakeholder conference on deforestation held in Calabar and organized by We The People, WTP a not-for-profit and Development Concern, DevCon.

“We lost the first battle in the war by getting the new Governor to read a riot act to the loggers, but that did not stop us and we have to keep pushing,” Ken Henshaw, the Executive Director of WTP said at the conference.

He highlighted the failure of Governor Benedict Ayade’s administration to stem the tide as well as how some intervention programs became a driver of deforestation.

On his part, Dr. Odigha Odigha, a former Chairman of the State’s forestry commission who was the keynote speaker said all it will take to end the menace is the political will of Governor Bassey Otu.

He lampooned the idea of the task force and disclosed that some members were illegal loggers. He also accused some people who won the immediate past general elections of getting the support and funding of loggers while some were involved in the act themselves.

Dr. Oliver Enouh, an environmentalist, said there was a need to set up an international panel of inquiry to audit the activities of Ayade’s administration in the environment sector to attract more attention from funders who are willing to support the fight.

Peter Jenkins, founder of Pandrillus and one-time Chairman of the anti-deforestation task force, there was a need to walk the talk as much has been said backed by little action.

He advocated for strong community-based approaches to tackle the scourge.

Dr. Aso Margaret on her part called for more women to be sensitized on the issues of deforestation especially as they impact more on the forest.

Professor Raphael Offiong of the University of Calabar sued for alternative livelihood sources to combat the challenge of poverty to ensure locals don’t think towards illegal logging.

On his part, the Paramount Ruler of the Boki local government area, Otu Fredaline Akandu said the issue lay on the head of the Governor.

Likewise, Dr. Ekeng Bassey of Mangrove Calabar South said the loss of mangroves was due to poverty amongst the youths, elders, and women.

It is expected that the conference will gather and document questions, observations, interventions, objectives, strategies, and opinions aired by participants on forest conservation and sent across to the National Assembly, Governor, and other stakeholders of the government.

Leave feedback about this

  • Quality
  • Price
  • Service


Add Field


Add Field
Choose Image
Choose Video