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Focus on Forests (text version)

Nigeria and its forests

map of Nigeria

Nigeria, once in the heart of the tropical rainforest belt, has lost about 95% of its total forest cover and now has to import 75% of the timber it needs for its own purposes. Until recently, forests in the east were largely spared, because the terrain made it difficult for heavy machinery and road building. Now that the western forests have almost gone and roads in the east have improved, logging companies are moving eastwards. In 1991, the government set up the Cross River National Park in order to protect Nigeria’s last large remaining area of rainforest. This forest is particularly important because it is one of the most species rich in Africa. As well as the huge diversity of plant life, many endangered animal species live there, including gorillas, leopards, chimpanzees, forest elephants and drill monkeys.

Around the park there is a belt of land called the Support Zone, which is also mostly forest. It acts as ‘buffer’ area between the park and farmland further away. There are 105 villages in the Support Zone.

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This site is funded by DFID and has been produced by the World Land Trust.