The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and the Cross River State Government on December 20, 2021, signed a 10-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to protect endangered gorillas and other animal species in the state.
Essentially, the MoU is for the “Collaboration and Mutual Support for the Management and Protection of Afi Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary and the Mbe Mountains”.
Dr Inyang Asibong, Commissioner in the Ministry of International Development Cooperation, represented the Governor of Cross River State, Senator Prof. Ben Ayade, at the signing ceremony.
Dr Asibong remarked that “the continuous protection, maintenance and rehabilitation of wildlife and their sanctuaries is a top priority for Cross River State”.
She went on to say that “we must do everything possible to preserve our remaining wildlife as it has unquantifiable benefits for mankind”.
Dr. Inaoyom Imong, the WCS Cross River Landscape Director, explained the importance of Afi Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary and the Mbe Mountains, stating: “Afi Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary and the Mbe Mountains in Boki LGA are internationally recognised biodiversity hotspots, supporting important populations of endangered species such as the Cross River gorilla and Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzee.”
The WCS Nigeria Country Director, Andrew Dunn, stated that “Cross River State is the most important site for biodiversity in the country and that WCS is proud to partner with Cross River State Government to help save the flagship sites of Afi Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary and the Mbe Mountains and their endangered wildlife.”