You are currently viewing We the People Holds Press Conference, Launches New Report on Deforestation in Cross River State

We the People Holds Press Conference, Launches New Report on Deforestation in Cross River State

Text of Press Conference Organized by We the People and the Rainforest Resources
and Development Centre on the Spate of Deforestation in the Cross River Forests.

5th September 2022. Calabar.

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen of the Media, and civil society organizations, we thank
you deeply for finding the time to attend this briefing.
Like most citizens in Cross River state, we are pained and concerned by current happenings
around the vast Cross River Rainforest estate. Recall that in 2008, the state government had
instituted a blanket ban on all forest activities, specifically targeting loggers which it
considered the key drivers of deforestation at the time. For the government at the time, this
action was necessitated by the need to protect the most critical asset of Cross River state
which is its vast forests and the wildlife it shelters.
It is important to note that the Cross River Tropical Rainforest was esteemed the richest cover
in the whole of West Africa right up to the 20 th Century. A massive share of the forest cover
left in Nigeria is located in the state. As at 1990, it was estimated that 50% of Nigeria’s
remaining forest was located in Cross River, spanning through tropical rainforests and large
spreads of mangrove swamps in its southern parts. As at 1991, the total forest cover located
in Cross River State stood at 7,920 Km2, roughly covering about 34.3% of the state's overall
surface area. By 2008, the forest cover underwent considerable decline and dropped to about
6,102 Km2 and occupying 28.68% of the state's landmass. Between 1991 and 2001, the state
lost 1,514 Km2 of forest amounting to a 12% of its forest cover. Another 1,307 Km2 of forest
was lost in the 8-year period between 2000 and 2008, indicating a 17.64% decline in the
state’s forest. Available records indicate that each year, the rate of deforestation intensifies,
signifying a corresponding increase in the number of factors that drive forest loss which
includes illegal logging, agriculture, urbanization, amongst others. Other data indicates that
between 2000 and 2007, the forest loss was about 390 Km2. Between 2007 and 2014, the rate
increased sharply to 1,070Km2 in 7 years. Currently, the categorization of Cross River State
as the home of West Africa’s largest pristine rainforest is highly in doubt. The forests have
come under severe attacks by several actors including the state government, plantations
companies and illegal loggers.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the progressive forest loss is going on at an alarming rate driven by
the following factors;
Salvage Logging by Commercial – Scale Agro-Allied Companies and Private
In simple terms, salvage logging is carried out in situations where a business concern,
principally commercial agricultural ventures require land to establish in otherwise forested
areas. To make the land fit for their purpose, they embark on massive logging and clearing of
the forest ostensibly to ‘salvage’ the land for that agricultural purpose. Research findings
show unregulated timber extraction activities by at least 21 Salvage Logging Companies and

55 private plantations being carried out in the pristine tropical rainforest estates of Cross
River state. Investigation also reveal that there are no publicly available records of
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) reports conducted before the commencement of
these projects.

Commercial Agriculture

Cocoa Plantations
At the moment, there is massive illegal encroachment and logging activities occurring in all
the Forest Reserves and the National Park in Cross River State. Research findings reveal that
several portions of conserved forest have been converted into monoculture cocoa and oil
palm plantation estates after logging have been previously carried out. Large scale forest
clearing necessitated by the need to secure land for the development of these plantations have
caused irreversible damage to the forest ecosystem and rich biodiversity of Cross River

Oil Palm Plantations
Experts reckon that at least 2/3 of the forest areas of Cross River State have been cleared and
transformed to commercial plantations. Out of this, oil palm plantations have been
established on 62.5% of what used to be forest areas. Wilmer is by far the biggest investor in
the oil palm space in Cross River State. Over the years, the company’s palm plantations have
extended well into protected forest areas which have been logged for the purpose of replacing
the trees with palms. A 2015 mapping analysis conducted by Friends of the Earth, revealed
that ‘deforestation has been occurring across all of Wilmar's concessions in Cross River
State, with a rapid acceleration starting in 2011, and an increase each year since.’
Pineapple Plantation
In Akamkpa local government area and on the fringes of the National Park, the Cross River
State government granted permit to Dansa Allied Agro, subsidiary of the business concern,
Dangote Group to establish a pineapple plantation and a facility for processing fruit into
pineapple juice. However, rather than plant pineapples or process pineapple juice, the
concession has provided cover for massive logging activities in the Cross River National
Park. Research reveals that for several years, the vast area occupied by the company operated
as a wood processing factory. For several years, all the company did was felling of trees and
process timber for sale to the public, at a time becoming the biggest source of timber in the
state. Several timber dealers confirm that the Dansa Allied Agro company was their major
source of timber for several years. The company defends their logging activities and describe
it as ‘salvage logging’.

Non State Drivers of Deforestation
Since 2015, logging activities in the Cross River forest took a new more sinister turn,
happening more routinely and openly. In many communities, loggers and timber dealers
establish their trading posts close to the forests, and form trade unions to regulate the
business. Logs are openly processes into various sizes, loaded onto trucks and transported to

destinations within and outside the state fairly easily. Transportation by road requires the
regular bribing of law enforcement officials including the state Anti-Deforestation Taskforce,
the Forestry Commission, the Nigeria Police, the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps
and the Army. On the rare occasions where seizures of timber do happen, it is as a result of
disagreements over rates of ‘settlement’.
Driver of deforestation include the following;
 Forest Guides
 Chainsaw Operators
 Crossers
 Timber Merchants
 Transporters
 Law Enforcement Operatives

Strengthened Joint Taskforce
The destruction of the Cross River tropical rainforest persists and thrives because there is a
demand for illegally gotten timber and there are opportunities of getting those logs into the
markets. It follows that if the outlets into the market are blocked, the incentive to cut down
trees will diminish.
Combined Teams of Department of State Security (DSS) Economic and Financial
Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related
Offences Commission
A team comprising of the Department of State Security Services, the Economic and Financial
Crimes Commission and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences
Commission could make very useful contributions towards halting the illegal trade in timber
products originating from the Cross River forests. One strategy would be to monitor the bank
accounts of suspected ‘crossers’ and timber merchants, and take appropriate action as and
when due. When the movement of money meant for the purchase of timber and the bribing of
public officials is made difficult, this will create a climate of uncertainty which will in turn
make both local and foreign actors extremely circumspect.
Improved Customs Monitoring
Another strategy for discouraging the operations of external merchants is by the counter
activities of the Customs. Timber products are not light weight and invisible materials that
can be taken out of the country without the notice of the Custom’s Department. A properly
mobilized Customs Services can check illegal exportation of timber products out of Nigeria.

Reversing Government Policies that Threaten the Forests

The government of Cross River state takes a significant share of the blame for what has
become of the Cross River forests. From permitting salvage logging, to granting concessions
to commercial agricultural ventures and carrying out infrastructure constructions that require
destroying large sections of the forests, the government has not lived up to its claim of
preserving the ecosystem. To preserve what remains of the forests, the government needs to
cease all further concessions to commercial agricultural ventures near or within the forest
areas. It needs to go further to address complaints that concessions already granted have
expanded beyond their lines into the forests.
Additionally, it is important for the government to re examine all the infrastructural projects
it intends to carry out around forested areas. One way of doing this will be to carry out
independent and thorough environmental and social impact assessments, to unravel the
ecological, economic and social implications of each infrastructure project.

Communities Taking the Lead
The indigenous people who live in and around the Cross River forests have historically taken
the lead in preserving their forests. For generations, they fought off profiteers, including
those sanctioned by the government. While the colonial, regional and state governments
respectively saw the forests as a revenue source, the indigenous people saw it as part of their
heritage and existence. It is recommended that state government policies that deprive
communities of agency in protecting the forests be reversed, while communities are
encouraged to take initiatives in once again protecting the forests

This Post Has 100 Comments

  1. Kory De Little

    Hello admin, Your posts are always thought-provoking and inspiring.


    Nice respond in return of this difficulty with real arguments and explaining all about that.

  3. You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be really something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and very broad for me. I am looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!


    Thank you for another informative website. Where else may just I am getting that kind of info written in such a perfect means? I have a undertaking that I am simply now running on, and I have been at the glance out for such information.


    My partner and I absolutely love your blog and find a lot of your post’s to be exactly I’m looking for. Do you offer guest writers to write content for you? I wouldn’t mind producing a post or elaborating on a lot of the subjects you write about here. Again, awesome blog!


    Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you writing this article and the rest of the site is also really good.


    Good day! I know this is kinda off topic however I’d figured I’d ask. Would you be interested in exchanging links or maybe guest writing a blog article or vice-versa? My site addresses a lot of the same subjects as yours and I feel we could greatly benefit from each other. If you might be interested feel free to send me an e-mail. I look forward to hearing from you! Superb blog by the way!


    Good day! I just would like to give you a huge thumbs up for the great info you have here on this post. I will be coming back to your website for more soon.

  9. Awesome site you have here but I was wanting to know if you knew of any discussion boards that cover the same topics talked about in this article? I’d really love to be a part of online community where I can get suggestions from other knowledgeable individuals that share the same interest. If you have any recommendations, please let me know. Bless you!

  10. Jurist

    Howdy! Do you know if they make any plugins to protect against hackers? I’m kinda paranoid about losing everything I’ve worked hard on. Any suggestions?

  11. Hey there would you mind letting me know which hosting company you’re utilizing? I’ve loaded your blog in 3 completely different internet browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot quicker then most. Can you suggest a good internet hosting provider at a honest price? Thanks a lot, I appreciate it!


    It’s in reality a nice and helpful piece of information. I’m glad that you simply shared this helpful info with us. Please stay us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.


    Thanks designed for sharing such a pleasant idea, post is pleasant, thats why i have read it completely


    Saved as a favorite, I really like your site!


    Can I simply say what a relief to discover an individual who really knows what they’re talking about online. You certainly understand how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More and more people must look at this and understand this side of the story. It’s surprising you aren’t more popular since you certainly have the gift.

  16. Link exchange is nothing else but it is simply placing the other person’s weblog link on your page at appropriate place and other person will also do same in favor of you.

  17. daachkaru

    This article is really a nice one it helps new web viewers, who are wishing for blogging.


    Nice blog here! Also your site loads up fast! What host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your host? I wish my website loaded up as fast as yours lol


    I used to be recommended this website via my cousin. I am now not positive whether this publish is written by way of him as no one else recognize such specific approximately my difficulty. You are wonderful! Thank you!

  20. Simply want to say your article is as surprising. The clearness in your post is simply cool and i can assume you are an expert on this subject. Well with your permission allow me to grab your RSS feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please keep up the rewarding work.


    I couldn’t resist commenting. Well written!

  22. SEO Backlinks

    Dear owner, Thanks for the comprehensive post!


    Hey! Quick question that’s completely off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My site looks weird when viewing from my iphone 4. I’m trying to find a theme or plugin that might be able to correct this problem. If you have any suggestions, please share. Cheers!


    Great goods from you, man. I’ve understand your stuff previous to and you’re just too magnificent. I really like what you’ve acquired here, really like what you’re stating and the way in which you say it. You make it entertaining and you still take care of to keep it smart. I can not wait to read far more from you. This is actually a wonderful site.

  25. Hi mates, nice article and pleasant arguments commented here, I am actually enjoying by these.

  26. Hello there, just became aware of your blog through Google, and found that it is really informative. I’m gonna watch out for brussels. I will appreciate if you continue this in future. A lot of people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

  27. You really make it seem so easy with your presentation however I find this topic to be really something which I think I might never understand. It sort of feels too complicated and very wide for me. I am taking a look forward on your next post, I will try to get the hold of it!

  28. steve gibbs penticton

    Aw, this was a really good post. Spending some time and actualeffort to create a very good article… but what can I say… I procrastinate a lot and don’t seem to get anything done.


    Hi, i think that i saw you visited my website so i got here to go back the favor?.I am trying to in finding things to improve my site!I assume its good enough to use some of your ideas!!

  30. PVC Rope

    Im obliged for the article.Really looking forward to read more. Great.

  31. PVC Rope

    Thank you for your blog.Much thanks again. Awesome.

  32. Mercury chelator

    Really enjoyed this blog post.Thanks Again. Much obliged.


    Greetings! Very helpful advice within this article! It is the little changes that produce the greatest changes. Thanks a lot for sharing!

  34. What’s up to all, the contents present at this website are in fact remarkable for people experience, well, keep up the nice work fellows.


    It’s really a nice and helpful piece of information. I’m satisfied that you simply shared this helpful info with us. Please stay us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

  36. David Nelson

    Hi there, I enjoy reading through your post. I liketo write a little comment to support you.

  37. Hello would you mind stating which blog platform you’re working with? I’m looking to start my own blog in the near future but I’m having a difficult time choosing between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something completely unique. P.S Apologies for getting off-topic but I had to ask!

  38. An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a friend who was doing a little research on this. And he in fact bought me breakfast because I discovered it for him… lol. So let me reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending time to discuss this issue here on your web site.

  39. CWC pipe

    Looking forward to reading more. Great blog post.Really thank you! Really Great.

  40. la plastic

    Great blog post.Thanks Again.

  41. Super p force

    I cannot thank you enough for the post. Great.

  42. Masala Stores Near Me

    A round of applause for your article.Really looking forward to read more. Great.

  43. indexation url

    Wow, wonderful blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you make blogging glance easy. The entire glance of your web site is great, let alonewell as the content!

  44. irontech doll

    Really informative post.Thanks Again. Much obliged.

  45. Dorothy Mohamed

    I am curious to find out what blog system you happen to be utilizing?I’m experiencing some minor security problems with my latest blogand I’d like to find something more safeguarded.Do you have any solutions?

  46. smartphone 2016

    Wow, great blog post.Really thank you! Will read on…

  47. Please let me know if you’re looking for a article author for your site. You have some really great posts and I believe I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d absolutely love to write some material for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine. Please blast me an e-mail if interested. Regards!


    I was extremely pleased to find this website. I wanted to thank you for your time just for this wonderful read!! I definitely liked every bit of it and I have you book marked to see new things on your web site.

  49. speed-doors

    I cannot thank you enough for the blog.Really thank you! Really Great.

  50. zoritoler imol

    I am curious to find out what blog system you are working with? I’m experiencing some small security issues with my latest site and I would like to find something more safeguarded. Do you have any recommendations?

  51. חשפניות

    Great article! We will be linking to this great post on our site. Keep up the good writing.

  52. חשפניות

    Hey there! Quick question that’s completely off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My site looks weird when viewing from my iphone 4. I’m trying to find a theme or plugin that might be able to fix this problem. If you have any suggestions, please share. With thanks!

  53. sphynx cats for sale

    I like the valuable information you supply in your articles. I will bookmark your weblog and test again here frequently. I am slightly certain I will be told lots of new stuff right here! Good luck for the following!

  54. sphynx kitten price

    Awesome blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere? A design like yours with a few simple adjustements would really make my blog jump out. Please let me know where you got your design. Kudos

  55. חשפניות

    Good day! I know this is kinda off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are you using for this site? I’m getting tired of WordPress because I’ve had issues with hackers and I’m looking at options for another platform. I would be great if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.

  56. bearing manufacturers

    Thank you ever so for you blog article.Thanks Again. Fantastic.

  57. חשפניות

    Simply want to say your article is as surprising. The clearness in your post is simply cool and i can assume you are an expert on this subject. Well with your permission allow me to grab your RSS feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please continue the gratifying work.

  58. Rubber Pad

    A round of applause for your blog post.Much thanks again. Fantastic.

  59. Bingo Register

    I really enjoy the article.Much thanks again. Will read on…

  60. vape-manufactory

    Really informative article.Really looking forward to read more.

  61. crush ai

    Thanks-a-mundo for the post.Really looking forward to read more. Fantastic.

  62. 安達

    Really informative blog article.Really looking forward to read more. Fantastic.

  63. Miguel Brown

    best online international pharmacies india: best india pharmacy reputable online pharmacies in india

  64. janitor ai

    I loved your post.Really looking forward to read more. Really Cool.

  65. חשפניות

    I was able to find good information from your articles.

Leave a Reply