Nigeria is planning a six-lane ‘superhighway’ through a remote rainforest. Environmentalists are not happy

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Nigeria is planning a six-lane ‘superhighway’ through a remote rainforest. Environmentalists are not happy

Feature image above shows an endangered silverback Cross River gorilla.(Photo courtesy of the Wildlife Conservation Society)

Pressure is mounting to stop construction of a proposed six-lane highway through a Nigerian rainforest that is home to hundreds of thousands of people and vulnerable wildlife.

The road, locally referred to as a superhighway, is planned in southeastern Nigeria’s Cross River state, and would be 162 miles long with six miles of cleared land on either side.

Conservationists say the construction would displace at least 180 indigenous communities and slice through a national park and adjoining forest reserves that provide habitats for some of the country’s most beleaguered species, including the endangered Cross River gorilla, chimpanzees, forest elephants and pangolins— the world’s most poached mammal, whose scales are prized in traditional medicine.

The project pits advocates for environmental and cultural habitat preservation against those who believe the region could benefit from much-needed infrastructure improvement, and spotlights the often-contentious global development issue of conservation versus growth…

Culled from Los Angeles Times


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