Take action to stop palm oil plantations from destroying Africa's ancient rainforests and local livelihoods in Cameroon

Oakland Institute | 20 November 2012

The Oakland Institute is very relieved after the release on Friday, November 16, 2012, of 4 members of SEFE, one of our NGO partners in Cameroon and a strong opponent of Herakles Farms. They were arrested in Mudemba on November 14th in a new attempt to intimidate opponents to the US-led project.

The Oakland Institute will continue to stand with Cameroonians struggling for their land and their basic rights to decent livelihoods. This recent arrest makes it even more important to tell the Government of Cameroon and the New York-based firm Herakles Farms that the world is watching and that this 70,000 hectare project must be immediately stopped.

Thank you for taking action with us and our Cameroonian partners.

Take Action to Stop Palm Oil Plantations from Destroying Africa's Ancient Rainforests and Local Livelihoods in Cameroon 


An Action Alert from Cultural Survival (USA),  Korup Rainforest Conservation Society (Cameroon), Nature Cameroon (South West Cameroon),  Ndian Youths Economic and Cultural Organisation (Cameroon),  The Oakland Institute (USA), Oroko Cultural Association (USA), Presbyterian Hunger Program (USA), Pro Wildlife (Germany), RELUFA  (Cameroon), SAVE Wildlife Conservation Fund Stiftung (Germany) , and Struggle to Economize Future Environment (Cameroon).

For more information, contact: Frederic Mousseau, [email protected]

In the southwest region of Cameroon, a New York-based agri-corporation, Herakles Farms, its local subsidiary SG Sustainable Oils Cameroon (SGSOC), and a US non-profit organization All for Africa are involved in a land deal that is about to destroy over 70,000 hectares (300 square miles) of rainforest and the livelihoods of thousands of rural Cameroonians. If the project goes forward, farmland and forest will be replaced by a giant palm oil plantation.

The concession concerns the homelands of the  Bassossi, Upper Balong, Nguti, Oroko, Bakossi, and Upper Bayang peoples in the Ndian, Kupé-Manengouba, and Manyu divisions of Cameroon. This plantation will have major impacts on up to 45,000 Indigenous Peoples in 88 villages who are dependent on the forest for their livelihoods. The giant plantation will also fragment and isolate the region's protected areas, including Korup National Park, Bakossi National Park, Banyang Mbo Wildlife Sanctuary, Nta Ali Forest Reserve, and Rumpi Hills Forest Reserve.

Notwithstanding, Herakles has moved forward despite widespread  opposition to the project. Protests against Herakles Farms have erupted in several areas. Petitions and letters from local villagers and local leadership, representing thousands of individuals, have decried the activities of Herakles Farms. Locals cite an alarming lack of transparency, their lack of consent, the illegal demarcation and clearing of land and the biological, economic, and cultural importance of the area as reasons for opposing the project. A recent film and report from the Oakland Institute provide additional evidence of this widespread opposition. Despite this evidence, Herakles Farms maintains their stance that the project enjoys an "outpouring of support from communities."

There are known and affordable alternatives to this industrial project if one wants to really promote sustainable agriculture and human development in the area. In the three Herakles Farms' nurseries, thousands of seedlings are ready to be planted. If the company truly wants to promote sustainable agriculture, it must hand over these seedlings to the local farmers and allow them to grow palm in a sustainable way, which should rely on diversified and environment friendly agricultural production.

Please join us in sending a powerful message to Herakles Farms and All for Africa demanding they stop destroying tropical rainforest and local livelihoods. Ask the Government of Cameroon to listen to the voices of the Cameroonian people and immediately stop Herakles Farms' plans for this palm oil plantation.

Do you tweet? Send a message to Cameroonian President Paul Biya (@PR_Paul_Biya):
@PR_Paul_Biya Don't let Herakles Farms/SGSOC destroy rainforest and livelihoods. Cameroonians say no to industrial palm oil plantations!

Coalition Partners

    Cultural Survival, USA
    Korup Rainforest Conservation Society (KRCS), Cameroon
    Nature Cameroon, South West Cameroon
    Ndian Youths Economic and Cultural Organisation (NYECO), Cameroon
    The Oakland Institute, USA
    Oroko Cultural Association, USA
    Presbyterian Hunger Program (PHP), USA
    Pro Wildlife, Germany
    RELUFA--Réseau de Lutte contre la Faim, Cameroon
    SAVE Wildlife Conservation Fund Stiftung, Germany
    Struggle to Economize Future Environment (SEFE), Cameroon
Original source: Oakland Institute

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