Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) Raises Alarm: Only 4% of Nigeria’s Forest Cover Remains

The Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) has disclosed that a mere four per cent of Nigeria’s forest cover remains intact.

The Director-General of the NCF, Dr Joseph Onoja, delivered this concerning information during a sensitization program held in Calabar to address the adverse effects of unsustainable forest activities in Cross River state.

The event, themed “The Crisis of Forest Loss and Threats to Rural Economy in Cross River,” aimed to highlight the urgent need for sustainable forest management practices. Dr. Onoja emphasized the importance of preserving forests for both economic and environmental reasons, stressing the role forests play in mitigating climate change.

Acknowledging the significant role forests play in the livelihoods of many Nigerians, Dr Onoja underscored the necessity of finding ways to exploit forest resources sustainably.

Despite expressing some disappointment at the slow progress in forest conservation efforts, he reaffirmed NCF’s commitment to educating and changing societal attitudes toward forest preservation.

Echoing Dr. Onoja’s sentiments, Dr. George Oben-Etchi, Chairman of the Cross River Forestry Commission, reaffirmed the state government’s commitment to afforestation. He disclosed plans to annually plant five million trees in collaboration with NGOs and enforce regulations to curb illegal logging.

Conservator CP Caroline Olori of the Cross River National Park appealed to forest communities to take ownership of forest conservation efforts and involve more youth in restoration initiatives.

Additionally, His Royal Highness, Obhoro Obio Arong Owai, emphasized the need for collaboration between communities and the government to combat illegal logging and ensure sustainable forest management.

The state of Nigeria’s forests remains a critical concern, with stakeholders emphasizing the urgency of concerted efforts to halt deforestation and restore degraded landscapes.

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