Massive resistance to Cross River superhighway

December 14, 2016 8:42 am14 commentsViews: 14

cross-river-superhighway-resistanceLAGOS, (CAJ News) – MORE than 350 000 petition signatures have been secured in global campaigns against the destruction of rainforests to pave way for the Cross River State superhighway.
Wildlife Conservation Society is leading the campaign, the latest which has succeeded in securing 100 081 petition signatures.
The first batch of petition signatures has been delivered to Hakeem Balogun, Charge d’Affaires of Nigeria to the United States at the Nigerian
Embassy in Washington.
WCS Executive Vice President for Public Affairs, John Calvelli, has delivered the petition while WCS is continuing to collect petition
signatures online.
WCS warned if constructed, the Nigerian superhighway project will clear a 12-mile wide swath through some of the country’s last remaining rainforest
habitat, potentially displace 180 indigenous communities and threaten one of the world’s great centers of biodiversity and home to the Cross River
gorilla, the world’s rarest great ape.
“This global outpouring of concern about this ill-considered project sends a clear message to the Nigerian government that other options need to be
explored, ones that don’t displace countless communities and threaten the region’s wildlife,” said Calvelli.
WCS’s global campaign complements a previous effort launched by the local Ekuri community whose villages and forests are in the path of the proposed
superhighway.
The initiative has already secured 253 000 signatures on a petition sent to President Muhammadu Buhari calling on him to safeguard the threatened
rainforests, associated livelihoods, ancestral homes, and much of the region’s biodiversity.
The proposed highway will feature six paved lanes for a length of 162 miles, and will clear a 12-mile wide corridor through that will cut
through several protected areas, including the Cross River National Park, Ukpon River Forest Reserve, Cross River South Forest Reserve, Afi River
Forest Reserve, and the Afi Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary.
CAJ News

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