- The main actors in the destruction of Nigerian forests are the Chinese, Koreans and Lebanese
- Their main targets are Rosewoods, Araria, Mahogany and Iroko
- Annually (approximately 350, 000-400, 000 hectares) are destroyed in Nigeria with activities linked to Asian and Arab cartels
Nigerian forests and the resources they harbor are not only under attack by local and foreign killer herdsmen, but are also raped and stripped bare by Chinese, Lebanese and Korean illegal loggers, albeit in the most unsustainable manner, local media reports.
This was brought to the front burner of national discourse in Lagos on Wednesday, May 26, 2021 by the Nigerian Human Rights Community, NHRC, in a press conference titled “Illegal Wood Export in Nigeria and the Far-reaching Consequences on Economy, Human Rights and Sustainable Development in Nigeria.”
The paper by NHRC read by Taiwo Adeleye addressed the critical issue of devastation of Nigerian environment and illegal wood export which has left bitter pills on the lips of many Nigerian communities, Vanguard reports.
“The main actors in this fraud are the Chinese, Koreans and Lebanese who have no other jobs than to invade the forests, cut down the trees for export in the most ignoble, vicious and callous manners. There is no Environmental Impact Assessment, EIA, no prior and informed consent of affected indigenous communities while the desperate hunt for those precious forest reserves continues.
“It may interest Nigerians to know that these precious forests trees that cost fortunes are never replanted by these foreigners who feast on them. Their main targets are Rosewoods, Araria, Mahogany and Iroko.
“Annually, some 3.5 percent (approximately 350, 000-400, 000 hectares) are destroyed per year in Nigeria with these activities linked to the Chinese, Koreans and Lebanese cartels. The destruction of these forest reserves by these foreign interests has serious implication for sustainable livelihood in the country,” the conference declared.
The implications are damage to the local economy and natural habitat; increase in local timber prices leading to shutdown of factories, thereby forcing many out of jobs.
Additionally, local manufactures cannot get logs to run their factories.
Other consequences include destruction of the local industry; increase in timber prices leading to increase in cost of construction – housing, roads, drainages, flood works, etc.; violation of indigenous rights as communities resist the destruction of their lands leading to conflicts.
Observers and right groups await actionable steps to forestall this gross illegality, including a ban on the logging of Nigeria’s precious woods by the thieving foreigners, and punishment for all those collaborating in the illegal business.
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