- The government of the Republic of Cameroon has ignored previous warnings from NGO Greenpeace and local communities and is forging ahead with the opening of 68,385 hectares of virgin forest to logging in the Ebo Forest.
- Greenpeace sees this Prime Minister’s decree as the death sentence for a biodiversity hotspot.
Cameroons Prime Minister, Joseph Dion Ngute recently signed a decree aimed at exploiting 68,385 hectares of virgin Ebo Forest area, located in the Littoral region of Cameroon. The area half the size of the city of London, we be re-classified in the private domain of the State before being transformed into a concession of about thirty Forest Management Units (UFA).
Ebo is an area with a high concentration of biodiversity. It is home to an isolated population of western gorillas and large populations of chimpanzees from Nigeria – Cameroon, forest elephants, grey parrots. There are many other species included in the Red List of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and even 12 species of trees unknown to science. This forest has a capture capacity of 35 million tonnes of carbon.
“We again call on the Cameroonian government to reverse industrial logging plans in the Ebo forest and designate it as a community conservation area instead,” said Sylvie Djacbou, forest campaign manager at Greenpeace Africa. For the 40 communities bordering the forest, government actions constitutes land grabbing from the natives. “The vast majority of Banen say no to this injustice. The Ebo forest represents above all the identity of the Banen people and their collective will use all legal means for the annulment of this decision by the government”, declared one of the Banen chiefs, Victor Yetina of the association “Munen return to the roots”, created especially for the protection of the land assets of the Banen.
Author: Bryan Groenendaal