Ekuri community is an Indigenous community in the Cross River State, Nigeria, who have been involved in decision-making processes and collective action around forest conservation for several decades. In 2004, the community won the UN Equator Prize for their forest management organisation the Ekuri Initiative. Since 2016, when Ekuri began resisting a superhighway project across the forest, the community has used online public media campaigns and petitions as part of its strategies to challenge state environmental governance .

Save Ekuri Forests and Rainforest Rescue

Save Ekuri Forests, a campaign to halt the state-approved construction of a superhighway, involved protest letters from the Ekuri community and partner NGOs to the State Governor and the Nigerian President and Minister of Environment, and a public petition using the Rainforest Rescue platform . Through awareness- and fundraising, these online tools supported organising on the ground, and appealed to Ekuri's community experience in protecting 'one of Nigeria's last rainforests'.

Ekuri protest against the proposed superhighway, from March 2016. Image source: Robert/Tunde Morakinyo, Rainforest Rescue [photograph]. Retrieved 28 July 2022, from https://www.rainforest-rescue.org/donate/234/help-the-ekuri-people-of-nigeria-defend-their-rainforest

In a 2019 article co-authored by geographers Adeniyi P. Asiyanbi and Oluyemi A. Akintoye and Chief Edwin Ogar from the Ekuri community and NGO Wise Administration of Terrestrial Environment and Resources ( WATER ), the authors discuss the complexities of Ekuri's approach to forest management. They explore ways that the community variously aligns with or challenges neoliberal conservation frameworks such as the UN scheme REDD+ in order to contest state operations.

smart forests radio