The Health of Mother Earth Foundation, HOMEF, organized  a  two- day  Community dialogue and an Environmental Impact Assessment EIA training for communities that will be critically impacted by the proposed Digital Superhighway Project proposed by the Cross Rivers State Government.

The  thrust  of  the  meeting  was  to  build  the  capacity  of relevant community stakeholders  to  discuss issues related to their forests as well as the overall impact 10km right of way to be acquired on either side of the proposed Superhighway. The threats to their biodiversity rich forest and its resources, the environment and livelihoods they depend on for daily survival were of great concern.

Participants were drawn from  Okokori and Edondon in Obubra Local Government area; Old Ekuri and New Ekuri from Akamkpa Local government area; non‐governmental organizations,  representatives  of  civil  society  groups and community based organizations and media from within and outside Cross Rivers State.

At the end of a three day interactive community dialogue and EIA training, participants and community stakeholders from Edondon, Okokori, Old and New Ekuri resolved that they:

Need good roads but do not want their cultural heritage destroyed.

Insist on active engagement of communities in the EIA process with adequate compensation paid where necessary.

Write to Government to register their concerns relating to the proposed super highway project.

Call for NGOs and International agencies support to build a stronger alliance against the super highway project especially with regard to threats to forests

Community’s FPIC must be sought in all projects before implementation.

protest and resist any unsustainable forest management practices in the forest rich region.

Reduce every activity that promotes deforestation.

Promote forest conservation and regeneration of indigenous trees in degraded areas.

Minimize poaching, unregulated hunting and stop to illegal wild life trade

Reject use of forest lands for large scale plantations

Campaign against water pollution and the indiscriminate use of chemicals.

Strengthen the Community Forest Watch for effective community forest monitoring

Form a community health monitoring group to ensure sustainable forest management practices.

Help to protect, preserve and conserve their forest which provides them with social, economic, spiritual benefits

Signatories

Representatives of Old Ekuri Community

Representatives of New Ekuri Community

Representatives of Okokori Community

Representatives of Edondon Community

Ekuri Initiative, EI

Health of Mother Earth Foundation, HOMEF

Rural Action for Green Environment, RAGE

Green Concern for Development, GREENCODE

Peace Point Action, PPA

Lokiaka Development Centre, LDC

Rainforest Research and Development Centre, RRDC

NGO Coalition on Environment, NGOCE

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