Cross River partners Taraba on forest conservation
The partnership will be through collaborations among civil societies, communities and the media organisations in the two states.
This position was contained in a communique signed by the Chief Executive Officer of Development Concern, Mr. Martins Egot of Cross River State and an Environmental Journalist from Taraba State, Alhaji Lawn Sani kona in Ikom after a two-day workshop on “Cross River and Taraba State knowledge exchange worshop on Forest Governance” facilitated by Development Concern with support from Heinrich Boll foundation.
The two states agreed to share ideas on various methods of farming on forest sustainability so as to create an alternative means of livelihood in forest communities.
The workshop was specifically organised for Taraba state to learn from the rich knowledge of Cross River state on forest conservation.
The participants agreed that there should be community organising, stakeholder participation, grievance redress/benefit sharing, transparency and accountability, harmonisation of policy and legal framework in the two states.
The workshop identified serious challenges of forest protection in Taraba noting that there is much pressure from herdsmen, poor funding of park by government, and rangers .
It was also suggested that Taraba learn from the Cross River experience of forest management with enabling laws put in place by government as well as adequate funding from government and individuals in managing the forest and national parks in both states.
On the issue of moratorium, the workshop called on the Cross River State government to lift the ban which is over 10 years now since people are logging recklessly.
One of the facilitators and a consultant on Environment, Mr. Tony Atah said, “Cross River is unique because we have vegetation cover as all vegetation in Nigerian can be found in the state.”
“We have the National park which alone constitutes 50 per cent of forest in Cross River, 17 forests reserves, wildlife sanctuaries community forests (lowest size because of pressure from farming etc), local government forests and private forests”
He said over 140,000 hectares of forests is lost even with moratoriums and “there is a lot of political influence and corruption. A lot of illegal logging going on in the state”.
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