By John Ighodaro
CALABARâ€”Ambassador, United Nations Year of the Gorilla and chief consultant UNEP/UNESCO Great Ape Survival Project (GRASP), Mr. Ian Redmond has commended Cross River State for its pragmatic approach towards check global warming and climate change.
It was his view that Cross River was pursuing this agenda by evolving a forestry-based programme.
He spoke when he paid a courtesy call on Governor Liyel Imoke at Government Lodge, Calabar, stating that the political will exhibited by the state government to ensure that gorillas were returned to their natural habitat was a right step in the preservation of endangered species.
Mr. Redmond (OBE), remarked that the setting up of a forestry commission, enactment of law on illegal logging and the ban on the killing of certain animalsÂ within designated forests, as carried by the state, was a practical approach to checking global warming which has impacted on the world negatively.
Describing the effects of global warming as quite amazing, Redmond said Cross River, being in the tropical rainforest, has a great role to play as the rest of the world, especially the developing countries, could take a cue from it, because as the forests keep depleting, it in effect affects the survival of animals.
In his response, Governor Liyel Imoke, who referred to the state as â€˜home of gorillasâ€, said government was committed to the cause of preserving andÂ conserving its forests, which is the largest in West Africa, by enacting laws to ensure its survival and that of endangered animals.
He pledged the stateâ€™s preparedness to partner groups that tend to tackle the challenges which the state faces in its forestry programmes, adding that it had begun to create awareness on the conservation of the environment during a meeting with chairmen of local government councils.
The governor noted that the state was now more committed than ever before to create understandingÂ on conservation and will be in the fore front to pursue it, in view of the global climate change, as endangered animals as well as rivers were disappearing.
He added that the state forestry programme was designed to preserve the forest for the whole world and not only for Cross River State.