A member of one of Cameroon’s Baka Communities in the Ngoyla Mintom area, talks about being driven out of his ancestral forests, and the issues his people face on a daily basis through lack of land rights and lack of access to food, medicine and education.
United under the banner of the Gbabandi platform, more than 32 Baka and Bagyeli indigenous peoples from Cameroon met to validate data on indigenous peoples’ experiences of the protection of their rights.
Arman Melinga was born in the nearby village of Bosquet but moved to Assoumindelé to live with his wife’s family. He says the Baka of Assoumindelé were not properly told about the community forest, and what it would mean. He explains how they feel cheated.
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.
Suzanne Ndjele, a Baka from the village of Assoumindelé, in south Cameroon, is one of many Baka who feels life has changed since they were stopped from entering the forest they had considered their land since birth.
Michel Mbengo moved to Assoumindelé 2 in 2011 through marriage. He says that the small parcel of land they have been given as a community forest is for selling timber, but they would like to be able to do more. He explains.
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.
Cameroon’s forest indigenous peoples’ platform has 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 statement made to the UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP) on behalf of a group of organisations working on a collaborative initiative - the Indigenous Navigator.
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.
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.
By Samuel Nnah Ndobe. The notion of indigenous people has sometimes been controversial in Africa. There are some opinions that consider all Africans as indigenous people liberated from colonial powers, while others simply stress that it is very difficult to determine who is indigenous in Africa.
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.
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.
Indonesia’s largest palm oil company, Sinar Mas, ran into trouble recently when communities in Liberia complained about a 33,000 ha.
The right to Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) in the Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) Principles and Criteria establishes how equitable agreements between local communities and companies (and governments) can be developed in ways that ensure the legal and customary rights of indigenous peoples and other local rights-holders are respected.
The following article, by Maurizio Farhan-Ferrari, Coordinator of the FPP's Environmental Governance Programme, has just been published on the Landscapes Blog for People, Food and Nature:
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.
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.