Nigeria: loggers stand down in Ekuri Forest

Eco guards in the rainforest The indigenous Ekuri have been protecting their forest for generations (© Mathias Rittgerott)

Dec 6, 2021

The logging company Sibawood has put down its chainsaws in the ancestral forest of the indigenous Ekuri people, and the construction of a logging road has also been halted. Whether this is a lasting success remains to be seen, but environmentalists in the Nigerian province of Cross River certainly are celebrating the respite.

The positive development was helped by the fact that the residents of Iyamite community were informed about the ecological damage and injustices, says Chief Edwin Ogar. He noted that there had been protests, campaigns and a lawsuit against the company and the forest department. The Ekuri now hope to increase the pressure with a second lawsuit. Rainforest Rescue is supporting the information campaigns of several local partners.

It is too early to give the all-clear at this point. Beyond the forest of the Ekuri people, deforestation is rampant in Cross River State, the home of Nigeria's last rainforests. The government has been inactive or appears to tacitly approve the logging.

Chief Edwin and his environmentalists still need international support. Please sign our petition if you haven't already done so. Nearly 100,000 supporters have already lent us their voice.