Subject:Reroute the Superhighway
Dear President Buhari, Minister Mohammed, and Governor Ayade,
I appreciate your consideration of local communities and the irreplaceable wildlife heritage of the Cross River State in your decision to suspend plans for a 20km-wide buffer for a proposed superhighway through Nigeria's Cross River State.
This decision is a critical first step, but the proposed route through one of Nigeria's last rainforests would be catastrophic, destroying thousands of acres of ancestral forest, harming the livelihoods of indigenous communities, and demolishing some of the last-remaining habitat of the highly endangered Cross River gorilla, as well as other threatened species such as the chimpanzee, pangolin, and forest elephant.
The construction of a large highway through wildlife-rich forests will have a devastating impact on many species. The development would also open up formerly inaccessible areas of forests, which will undoubtedly lead to increased wildlife poaching in the region.
I urge you to make the best decision for local communities and wildlife and move the project away from Nigeria's most biodiverse forests. These intact forests are vitally important for eco-tourism, water resources, and habitat for a long list of endangered species.