Toute l'actu sur la protection de l'environnement

NIGERIA: taking inspiration from the Rwandan model to protect the Cross River gorilla

The Wild Africa Fund (WAF), a non-governmental wildlife protection organisation, is calling on Nigerians to protect the unique Cross River gorillas. There are only 100 of them left in Nigeria. The alert was issued on 24 September 2023, World Gorilla Day.
The Cross River gorilla, one of Nigeria’s most emblematic and beloved wildlife species, faces a number of threats, including hunting and habitat loss due to agricultural expansion and commercial logging. According to the Wild Africa Fund (WAF), there are only around 300 Cross River gorillas left in the wild, 100 of which live in Cross River State in south-east Nigeria and the rest in south-west Cameroon.
On 24 September 2023, World Gorilla Day, which celebrates these primates, considered to be one of the world’s most endangered species, WAF issued a statement on the situation of gorillas in Nigeria. The South Africa-based wildlife conservation organisation urges the Nigerian public to protect the unique Cross River gorillas, by supporting ongoing efforts to safeguard their populations and habitat, and by reducing the demand for commercial bushmeat that threatens them.
Gorilla conservation and tourism revenues
eferring to the gorilla conservation models in place in Rwanda and Uganda, the fund points out that gorillas can be a source of revenue through tourism. « There are several advantages to protecting these great apes. Gorilla-based tourism is an invaluable asset for certain African countries such as Rwanda and Uganda, offering a win-win scenario for both conservation and economic development. Tourists from all over the world are attracted by the magic of gorilla encounters, making gorilla tourism a source of foreign exchange and funding for community development projects such as schools and health centres, » explains Peter Knights OBE, co-founder and CEO of WAF.
Gorilla trekking accounted for 14% of the $498 million Rwanda earned from tourism in 2018, when the government doubled the cost of gorilla trekking permits to US$1,500 per person. In 2018-2019, tourism earned Uganda $1.6 billion, contributing 7.7% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and employing at least 667,000 people.
To improve gorilla conservation in Nigeria, WAF has launched a public awareness campaign. The month-long operation uses radio, television, newspapers, billboards and social media to inform the public about the threats to the Cross Rivers gorillas and to amplify the wildlife laws and anti-poaching measures that protect them. The campaign features messages from famous ambassadors, including musical artists Davido, Laycon, Emanuella and Alex Iwobi. Short documentaries highlighting ongoing efforts to protect gorillas and their habitat are also planned.
Fanta Mabo

Leave a Reply

Votre adresse e-mail ne sera pas publiée. Les champs obligatoires sont indiqués avec *