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Cross River communities trained on forest protection

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Not less than nine forest communities in Cross River State have been trained on how to use Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) as a tool to check deforestation.

The communities in Akamkpa and Biase local government areas of the state were trained yesterday during a capacity building workshop organised by Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoE) in partnership with Community Forest Watch with the theme; “EIA as Viable Tool for Advocacy.”

Delivering a paper at the one-day training programme, one of the resource persons, Raphael Offiong of the University of Calabar said communities must demand an EIA before the commencement of projects. He said the main objective was to enhance sustainable development and to reduce environmental impact from projects in communities. He said it would also give room for host communities to take part in decision-making that would affect them either positively or negatively.

Offiong said companies operating in Akamkpa and Biase have not done proper Impact assessment said communities must be consulted and carried along.

The Community Forest Watch Volunteer Coordinator, Maurice Glory, said following several agitations by communities affected, the State House of Assembly has recently called on Wilmer to update their facility for waste removal and should carry out a review of EIA with immediate effect.


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