Who likes chocolate that has been destroyed by forests where gorillas live?
This is exactly what is happening in Nigeria: cocoa farms invade the last retreat of the endangered primates.
The overexploitation is fueled by the lust of chocolate lovers in Europe. But the forest of the gorillas must not die for sweets.
Cross River gorillas are the most endangered great ape in Africa with only 200-300 individuals remaining in the wild.
Nigeria gives rise to despair and hope at the same time: the country’s forests are almost completely destroyed, 96 percent have disappeared. The state of Cross River in the southeast is a ray of hope. The forests are among the most biodiverse in the world and even offer gorillas a habitat.
But Cross River also loses forest: In 2017, more than 16,000 hectares were destroyed. That is four times more than last year. The main causes are illegal logging, palm oil plantations and the production of charcoal. Cocoa plantations that are planted in protected forests are increasingly to blame. It is often small farmers who see it as a safe source of income and are not familiar with environmentally friendly farming methods.
Overexploitation is fueled by demand in Europe. Nigeria is the third largest cocoa exporter in the world and meets ten percent of the EU’s needs. Deliveries have grown 65 percent to 248,000 tons in 2018 over the past three years, with Holland, Germany and Belgium being the main importers.
In Ivory Coast and Ghana, countries 1 and 2 of origin, forest destruction for cocoa has reached extreme proportions. Almost all protected areas were looted in the Ivory Coast, Ghana holds a sad world record in terms of forest destruction in 2018. The close connection between cocoa cultivation and forest destruction leads to worst worries for Nigeria.
The chocolate companies buy everything they can get, regardless of the environment and animals. It is almost impossible for customers in Europe to find out where their favorite chocolate comes from.
Environmentalists in Brussels are fighting for the EU to regulate the market. But the gorillas can’t wait for that.
The governor of Cross Rivers State is in charge of protecting the gorillas’ habitat.
There are already attempts in the Cross River State to prevent further destruction of cocoa forests. The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) is in the process of expanding an ongoing project to villages in Afi, Mbe and Okwangwo. The aim is to produce cocoa in an environmentally friendly way. The EU is involved financially.
The state government also plans to build a processing plant in the city of Ikom. It is difficult to estimate what impact this will have on the expansion of the plantations.
The petition goes to: Governor Ben Ayade, Forestry Commission Ogbang Akwaji
“Cocoa plantations threaten the last rainforests in the Cross River State. Please strengthen nature conservation and fight the illegal clearing of forest for cocoa “!
Be sure to sign!
My comment: The animal species are getting fewer every day and the criminal species more and more.
You have to search for half an hour to find a soap without palm oil in the supermarket .
Then you buy a vegan chocolate and go home with a clear conscience that this humble pleasure does not cause an animal life.
But then you read that your chocolate’s cocoa may come from a country where there are only 300 gorillas left because your chocolate costs them their life.
We have to fit everywhere and on everything, nowadays.
Animal welfare has become a detective work.
My best regards to all, Venus