Beauty Of Cross River State


Cross river state is one of the 36 states in Nigeria, west Africa. The state has a population of about 2.89million people. The state is immensly blessed with abundant natural resources and tourist attraction sites. Amongst them are the Agbokim water fall and the Obudu cattle ranch, the state is also blessed with abundant forest reserve. The forest covers a total land area of 6,102square kilometers with different tree species. The forest cut across different local government areas of the state. About 75% of Nigeria’s endangered tree species are only found in cross river state. The state is also considered one of the richest bioderversity reserves in all of Africa. The state’s forest support 22 primates species including endemics like the cross river gorila, drill monkey and preuss’s Guenen monkey. The forest is monitored and protected by the cross river state forestry commission.

Although there are laws that prohibit illegal logging in the state, logging activities are still been carried out in the forest. Other drivers of deforestation apart from logging in the forest are farming, forest fires, cattle grazing, poor enforcement of forest laws, policies and regulations. On a brief chat with some of the commission staffs, i was made to understand that logging is not the major driver of deforestation but that the major driver of deforestation in the state’s forest is farming. Farmers cut down forest trees in other to use the land for cultivation of crops. The farmers do not only cut down forest trees but also set the forest on fire thereby burning the young and old trees. Others make use of forest trees as firewood for cooking. Other drivers of deforestation are those who destroy the forest to build houses. The Ekabakong forest reserve located along the Ikom-calabar highway in Ikom local government area is under threat by land owners who cut down the trees in other to build houses.

All these activities by man proves that humans are the major cause of climate change-humans burn fossil fuels, flare gas, mine coal, burn and destroy the forest. If proper measures are not taken to enforce the laws that prohibit illegal logging, discourage bush burning and cutting down of forest trees by educating farmers and the entire populace on the importance of protecting and keeping the forest safe, the cross river state forest which as at today stands as the highest forest reserve in the country will soon become a thing of the past.