CRSHA Wants CR Forestry Commission To Manage CR Forests

Speaker of the Cross River State House of Assembly, Eteng Jones-Williams, has directed the Clerk of the House, Bassey Ekpenyong, to convey to state governor, Ben Ayade, the unanimous resolution of the House reached at Thursday’s plenary to the effect that the management of the state forestry be returned back to the CRS Forestry Commission.

The House insisted too that the Anti-Deforestation Task Force Committee set up by the governor and operating in the state should exist solely to provide military presence to enhance sustainable management of the forest.

Hillary Bisong, representing Boki II State Constituency, who moved the motion on the floor of the House, maintained that CR’s forests were critical to the state’s economy, the reason he condemned too the level of indiscriminate logging across the length and breadth of the state, without appreciable benefits to the state.

He noted too that the Anti-Deforestation Task Force had outlived its usefulness and therefore urged members to support the motion to return the management of the state’s forests to the Forestry Commission as provided for by the Cross River State Forest Law 2010 as amended.

Itam Abang, Boki I State Constituency, who spoke in support of Bisong, described the activities of the task force as “a rape of the state’s forest reserve’’ and pointed out that the Forestry Commission, while in charge, replanted trees, just like forest communities were paid royalties which they invested on several community projects.

Cross River State has the largest amount of Tropical High Forest remaining in Nigeria as well as the largest remaining rainforest in West Africa (0.85 million hectares), although its quality and density varies across the State’s three agro-ecological zones. She also has 1,000 sq. kilometres of mangrove and swamp forest, indiscriminately exploited by several groups and individuals.

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