Resources

Communities make their voices heard in palm oil discussions

Communities in Liberia have spoken to palm oil sector representatives about ongoing land tenure issues and participation of peoples in future plans for their customary lands.

Sixteen representatives from across Liberia attended the 2nd Annual Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 (TFA) National Dialogue to talk about the future of both their lands and large-scale agricultural developments in the country.

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.

World Bank turns its back on pastoral communities

Guest article from Helen Tugendhat in the Bretton Woods Project Observer regarding the World Bank’s decision to grant a waiver of OP4.10 for an agricultural investment project in Tanzania.

Click here to read the article (offsite link)

Community response to Liberia's Forest Development Authority (FDA) concerning the TFA 2020 Africa Palm Oil Initiative

The Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 is a global public-private partnership, designed to remove deforestation from the palm oil, beef, soya, and pulp and paper sectors.  In Liberia it focuses on the palm oil sector and has previously worked with the government, private sector and civil society to produce a series of nine guiding principles designed to regulate the sector in Liberia.

Behind the Veil: Transparency, Access to Information and Community Rights in Cameroon's Forestry Sector

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".

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.

Securing Forest Peoples’ Rights and Tackling Deforestation in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Deforestation and forest degradation have increased in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), despite the government’s commitment to safeguard its forests.

Illegal logging, unsustainable mining, commercial agriculture, and urban demand for fuelwood represent only some of the major long-term threats to the forests. By contrast, the traditional livelihood strategies of indigenous and local communities show a capacity to coexist with forests sustainably.

Enough is Enough - Stop the continued arrests and evictions of Sengwer forest indigenous peoples from their ancestral lands in Embobut Forest

In a letter to President Uhuru Kenyatta, the Sengwer call [on the President] to "stop the continued arrests and evictions of our Sengwer forest indigenous peoples from our ancestral lands (our community land) in Kaptirpai, Koropkwen and Kapkok glades in Embobut forest. We want our rights to live in, govern, manage and own our ancestral lands in the glades of Embobut forest recognized, secured, respected and protected in law, working hand in hand with state agencies to ensure effective and efficient conservation and protection of forests, water, wildlife and other natural resources therein".

The rights of Baka communities in the REDD+ Ngoyla-Mintom project in Cameroon

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.

Respecting Rights? Assessing Oil Palm Companies’ Compliance with FPIC Obligations: A case study of EPO and KLK LIBINC Estate in Grand Bassa, Liberia

This review is the result of several years of fieldwork by the Sustainable Development Institute (SDI), and is the first step of a UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) funded project that examines putting into practice in Liberia the FAO Technical Guide entitled ‘Respecting free, prior and informed consent, Practical guidance for governments, companies, NGOs, indigenous peoples and local communities in relation to land acquisition’.

Respecting Rights? Assessing Oil Palm Companies’ Compliance with FPIC Obligations: A case study of Maryland Oil Palm Plantation in south-eastern Liberia

This review is the result of several years of fieldwork by the Liberian civil society organisation Social Entrepreneurs for Sustainable Development (SESDev), in partnership with the UK-based Forest Peoples Programme (FPP), and is part of a UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) funded project that examines putting into practice in Liberia the FAO Technical Guide entitled ‘Respecting free, prior and informed consent, Practical guidance for governments, companies, NGOs, indigenous peoples and local communities in relation to land acquisition’.

Is carbon funding hurting forest peoples? Evidence from Madagascar

The Paris Agreement of December 2015 encourages countries “…to take action to implement and support, including through results-based payments…activities relating to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation” (Article 5)  as a key policy instrument for climate change mitigation. The Agreement also acknowledges the need to respect human rights in all climate actions. In principle, new investment in protected areas and REDD+ projects, by the World Bank and other international donors, are tied to strong social safeguards. These should be designed to ensure that a project does no harm and respects the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities. At present, UN climate change convention safeguards go further and require carbon funding to provide additional social and ‘non-carbon’ benefits, though World Bank safeguards still fall short of this.

SDI/SESDev/FPP letter expressing dissatisfaction with the RSPO Complaints Panel decision on Golden Veroleum Liberia

Letter from the Sustainable Development Institute (SDI), Social Entrepreneurs for Sustainable Development (SESDev) and Forest Peoples Programme to the Impacts Division and Complaints Panel (CP) of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), challenging the CP's 19th September 2015 decision and findings that Golden Veroleum Liberia (GVL) operations are broadly compliant with the RSPO standard.

Click here to read the letter

Conserving injustice: The unnecessary ongoing eviction and displacement of Sengwer communities in Embobut

The Sengwer community at Embobut has been dispersed, with most still living in their forests and glades high in the Cherangany Hills despite the evictions by the Government’s Kenya Forest Service (KFS). There they hide from the forest guards’ harassment, from having their now makeshift and temporary homes burnt and basic household property destroyed, as well as from being threatened with arrest despite the existence of a High Court injunction forbidding such harassment and evictions.