Today, on the 70th Anniversary of the International Declaration on Human Rights, the Gbabandi platform has launched their report on citizenship of indigenous forest peoples in Cameroon.
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.
Alternative report submitted by Association Okani and FPP to the Pre-Sessional Working Group of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR), 3-16 April 2018, to assist with the preparation of the list issues to consider in the forthcoming examination of the State Report of the Republic of Cameroon.
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.
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.
In 2010, Cameroon and the European Union signed a Voluntary Partnership Agreement on forest law enforcement, governance and trade in timber and derived products. One apparently positive element highlighted by the European Union and civil society organisations has been the inclusion of a 'transparency annex' in the document, which aimed to "make information available for public scrutiny to improve transparency and accountability".
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.
Of the indigenous hunter gatherer peoples of Cameroon (the peoples who self-identify as ‘autochthonous’), the Baka are the largest group, numbering about 40,000 and living in an area of 75,000 km2 in the south-west of the country; the Bagyeli/Bokola are the second-largest group with approximately 3,700 people living near the coast in an area of about 12,000 km2; and the third-largest group are the Bedzang who live in the forests north-west of Mbam (Ngambe-Tikar), in the Central Region.
Growing global demand for palm oil is fuelling the large-scale expansion of oil palm plantations across Southeast Asia and Africa. Concerns about the environmental and social impacts of the conversion of vast tracts of land to monocrop plantations led in 2004 to the establishment of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), which encourages oil palm expansion in ways that do not destroy high conservation values or cause social conflict. Numerous international agencies have also called for reforms of national frameworks to secure communities’ rights and to develop sound land governance.
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.
As multiple international agencies adopt and update their social and environmental policies, this special edition Forest Peoples Programme E-Newsletter reviews experiences of communities and civil society with the safeguard policies of various international financial institutions.
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.
Whenever someone remarks that a solution is being frustrated by ‘lack of political will’, I automatically ask myself: whose is the political will and what are the interests pushing for the opposite?
The purpose of this request is to bring to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (UN CERD)'s attention the imminent enactment of a new Forest Law in Cameroon. The submitting organisations (Okani, CED and Forest Peoples Programme) highlight that both the process of reform and the contents of the proposed new law are racially discriminatory towards indigenous peoples.