WWF, the World Bank and the Government of Cameroon have hailed the Ngoyla Wildlife Reserve in Cameroon as a success for conservation. However, the Reserve was created on the customary lands of local communities including the indigenous Baka, who depend on forest resources for food, medicine and shelter, as well as for maintaining their cultural and spiritual traditions. Read the briefing here
With the gazetting of the reserve, the forests that the Baka have used sustainably for millennia have been taken from them, and they are no longer able to pursue their traditional activities.
Forest Peoples Programme and our local partner Okani accompanied local communities affected by the Ngoyla Reserve for more than three years.
Our work with the communities, presented in this briefing, revealed that the Government and WWF – who played a key role in creating the Reserve – did not follow a proper process of free, prior and informed consent for the creation of the Reserve and that “benefits” for communities have been inadequate or ineffective.
This has resulted in impoverishment, social hardship and cultural loss for the communities, who have received no compensation for the loss of their lands.
This briefing presents a summary of our findings from these three years of engagement with affected communities.
- Further details on these findings are described in detail in our full report, published in French, earlier this year.