From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
A Niger Delta lawyer-turned entrepreneur Mr Azibaola Robert has raised alarm over the indiscriminate logging in the region’s rainforests and others in Nigeria.
He also bemoaned the effect of oil exploration in the forests of the Niger Delta which according to him has disrupted the ecosystem.
Azibaola who stated this at the commencement of a 14days audio-visual documentary project titled, ‘Expedition into deep forest’ at Otakeme in the Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State stated that the business of felling of trees and cutting them for timbers, including economic trees, was depleting the thick rainforests around communities in the region.
He noted that the unregulated practice of logging had impacted the ecosystem and the quantity of oxygen released into the environment for breathing by the people of the region.
According to him aside unchecked felling of trees, the devastation of the region’s environment through oil and gas exploration and its associated carbon released into the atmosphere has destroyed the natural and beautiful environment, especially the rainforests
He said “We are highlighting the fact that the forests have been so devastated by logging. People cut down natural trees that protect the environment and give us oxygen.
“There is no regulation when it comes to wood logging in the Niger Delta and Nigeria in general. So it is a disaster waiting to unfold. The trees are being cut down for the purpose of economic gain.
. “Have we tried to calculate the percentage of oxygen that comes from the rainforests of the Niger Delta and why we should not deserve the trees of the Niger Delta, instead we are busy logging wood at random”
On why he is undertaking the expedition, Azibaola disclosed that it is to promote the natural environment of the Niger Delta through Otakeme and other forests in the region.
This he said would help to advertise the beauty of the rainforests in the Niger Delta region for the world to see the beauty that can be promoted.
“The aim of the expedition is to highlight the natural environment of Nigeria, the Niger Delta and the communities that are around. We want people to see the kinds of blessings that nature has given to our country and how unexplored these natural resources have been.
“We also want people to know how these natural resources have been exploited. There are some of these natural resources that have been over-exploited, and there are some that have never been explored. We really need to balance nature.”