Resources

A message from the women of Assoumindelé, Cameroon

Women from a village in south east Cameroon say they won’t be able to access a parcel of land that has been allocated to their community as part compensation for land lost to a national reserve.

Declaration on land rights from the Gbabandi Platform, Cameroon

A group of indigenous peoples in Cameroon have released a Declaration calling for respect of their customary tenure rights. It further calls for change from the State and other actors on consent, chiefdoms, benefit sharing and participation.

A New Platform for Indigenous Peoples in Cameroon

Indigenous forest peoples in Cameroon have come together to form an official platform to better represent their views locally, nationally and internationally. For the first time in Cameroon, representatives from more than fifty indigenous Baka and Bagyeli communities have united to form a national organisation to represent Cameroon’s forest peoples and defend their rights at the local, national and international levels.

Forest Voices: Baka musicians’ ambitious tour of Cameroon

Baka musicians have just completed an ambitious tour of southern Cameroon with support from the FPP/OKANI EU Cameroon project. 

For over a decade, UK-based Global Music Exchange (GME) has been working with Orchestre Baka Gbiné, a Baka group of musicians from the rainforest of south-east Cameroon. Their 2006 release Gati Bongo is still in the iTunes World charts, and a Channel 2 documentary about them is regularly shown on Cameroon television.

The Ngoyla-Mintom forest in Cameroon: The perspective of the Baka

Ngoyla-Mintom is a forested mountainous region which derives its name from two districts in two regions of Cameroon: Ngoyla in the Eastern Region and Mintom in the Southern Region. This rainforest has gained fame through being targeted for various purposes by different actors, including the Cameroon government, private companies and the international community. In recent months, Ngoyla-Mintom has gained the reputation of being a previously unexploited forest bloc, which has very rapidly aroused the interest of Cameroon’s Ministry of Forestry who are interested in selling parts of the forest at auction to private logging companies.

Statement of the Forests and Communities Platform and representatives of indigenous communities on Cameroon's REDD Readiness Preparation Proposal (R-PP)

As part of its REDD+ preparation, Cameroon submitted on 6 August 2012 the draft of its REDD Readiness Preparation Proposal (R-PP) to the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) managed by the World Bank. 

Following the recommendation of the national validation workshop held in Ebolowa, Cameroon in June 2012, members of Cameroonian civil society met as part of the Forests and Communities Platform (Plateforme Forêts et Communautés) from 11 to 13 September 2012, to analyse the strengths and areas for improvement of the R-PP.

Lessons from the field: REDD+ and the rights of indigenous peoples and forest dependent communities

In October 2011, Forest Peoples Programme (FPP) conducted a survey of our local partners asking them to pinpoint key experiences and emerging lessons learned in relation to REDD+ and rights issues over the last three years. Partners who contributed include the Centre for Environment and Development (CED) and Association Okani (Cameroon), CEDEN (DRC), Foundation for the Promotion of Traditional Knowledge (Panama), Amerindian Peoples Association (Guyana), Association of Village Leaders in Suriname, Association of Saamaka Authorities (Suriname), AIDESEP (Peru), Federation for the Self-Determination of Indigenous Peoples (Paraguay) and Scale-up, Pusaka and FPP field staff (Indonesia). Observations and lessons are also drawn from workshops with local partners, field studies and issues stemming from indigenous peoples’ representatives in dialogues with national and international REDD+ policy-makers. Key observations and lessons are summarised below.

The indigenous peoples of Cameroon: from Ngoyla-Mintom to national recognition

In dialogue with parliament and the government

Compared to the 1990s and the start of the 21st century, the question of giving recognition to the indigenous peoples of Cameroon has, in recent years, become a central issue, if still in a somewhat tentative way.

Indeed, on the 1st and 2nd of September 2011 in Yaounde, Cameroon, parliament and the government held a dialogue on indigenous peoples. The meeting brought together members of the National Assembly (under the umbrella of the Parliamentarians’ Network, REPAR), representatives of ministries with projects affecting indigenous peoples, development partners, UN special representatives and a substantial delegation of indigenous peoples: Baka, Bakola, Bagyeli and Bororo. A new phenomenon was the willingness to consider what is involved in giving recognition to indigenous communities, as was demonstrated by the extensive question and answer sessions between the members of the National Assembly and the indigenous peoples.

Will the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity finally accept proposed solutions to halt biodiversity loss that also benefit forest communities?

Click here for FPP & Partners' 'CBD COP 10 - Nagoya Blog' to follow indigenous peoples and local community representatives in Nagoya online.

For all forest peoples, the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 10) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), starting today, October 18, 2010 in Nagoya, Japan, is a critical one: their governments will make new agreements on the conservation, use, and development of the world’s natural riches. As most of these resources are found in indigenous peoples’ territories, the future directions of the Convention will have far-reaching impacts on forest peoples’ lands, livelihoods and way of life. Will forest communities’ positive contributions to global biodiversity receive the attention they deserve and will their interests and rights be respected? Or, will they be limited to a few minor paragraphs in the Decisions of COP 10?