Illegal Wildlife Trafficking In Cross River State And The Way Forward
Conservation has many meanings. But, the Merriam-Webster Dictionary describes this as a careful preservation and protection of something. Especially planned management of a natural resource to prevent exploitation, destruction, or neglect.
Cross River State is blessed with natural resources. One of the most notable features is the vast forests visible when viewed using satellite imagery, which span the length and breadth of the State.
But, for decades, this resource has been exploited in a manner that was unsustainable, leading to the State Government placing a ban on logging.
However, that did not stop it, as Illegal Wildlife Trafficking skyrocketed in the past decade.
The incumbent administration led by Governor Bassey Otu lifted that ban and directed loggers to register with the appropriate authorities.
However, concerned individuals hand groups say there has been no clear-cut policy directive as to how this will help protect the forest.
This has led to questions such as, what has changed in the operations of the loggers? Also, with increasing calls for some control, how does the State plan to distinguish legal from illegal loggers?
Furthermore, with a new budgeting circle around the corner amidst the absence of a Chairman of the State’s Forestry Commission, how will this impact the effort of the Government to maximize the potential of the forests?
Will the absence of a chairman impact the budgeting process?
Will that also impact on the activities of the commission?
Is the narrative too heavy on logging and neglecting other forms of wildlife trafficking?
A former Chairman of the Cross River State Forestry Commission, Dr. Odigha Odigha was the guest.
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