EIA : Palm Oil Plantation in Cameroon: An Opportunity to Stop “The Wrong Project in the Wrong Place”

 

 

YAOUNDE, CAMEROON — In anticipation of a crucial decision to be made by the Government of Cameroon on the renewal of a land lease for a controversial oil palm project, EIA releases today a video that shows how the large-scale project has negatively impacted the lives of thousands of community members, threatened biodiversity hotspots, and failed to meet development promises to local communities in the Southwest region of Cameroon. The video, “The Wrong Project in the Wrong Place,” is the result of a collaboration with local, national, and international environmental groups.

 

 

By the end of November 2016, the Government of Cameroon is expected to issue a crucial decision for the future of its forests. The respect for national rule of law, the livelihoods of thousands of community members, and the habitat of the vulnerable African elephant hang in the balance as the government decides whether or not to renew the land lease for the controversial Sithe Global Sustainable Oil Cameroon (SGSOC) oil palm project.

 

 

“The Cameroonian government has an opportunity to send a strong signal to foreign investors that it will no longer accept investments that undermine its people and its laws,” said Lisa Handy, EIA Director of Forest Campaigns. “Since the beginning of this oil palm project, SGSOC has shown very little interest in complying with Cameroonian laws at the expense of the national economy, local communities, and unique habitats. The Cameroonian government can now make a decision to lead the country – and the region – in a new direction.”

 

 

SGSOC, a company originally owned by the New York-based group Herakles Farms, acquired a 99-year land lease of 73,086 hectares in 2009. The process of granting the concession at that time was very questionable. In November 2013, the initial land lease contract was reviewed by a presidential decree and as a result, the concession was drastically reduced to 19,843 hectares for a probationary three year period. In November, the probationary lease comes to an end and the Cameroonian government must decide whether or not to stop this controversial project.

 

 

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