Greenpeace Africa (www.Greenpeace.org/Africa) in partnership with Nsang Dilong, Freddy Kristel and Alene Menget today launched a campaign against land grabbing using videos and an online petition in Cameroon.
The launch of the campaign in Douala comes after a field visit to the villages of Bitye, Edjom, Ndibessong, Zoumeyo and Ekok, which exposed the plight of local and indigenous communities and the unregulated land grabbing taking place in Cameroon.
“The socio-economic consequences of land grabbing in our local communities are far-reaching,”
said Nsang Dilong.
“We are lending our voices to this campaign by Greenpeace Africa as concerned Cameroonians and artists. We are using our videos to support local communities in the fight against the misdeeds of rubber companies like Sudcam-a subsidiary of Halcyon Agri. We want customary rights on the land of these communities to be respected and the forest upon which they depend for their livelihood be protected.”
The use of humorous videos and sketches is used as a medium by actress Nsang Dilong, Freddy Kristel and Alene Menget to introduce the serious issue of land grabbing in a manner that all Cameroonians can understand. The videos are available online, along with a call for Cameroonians and concerned Africans to take action against the problem of land grabbing by signing the online petition against Sudcam operations – a classic case of land grabbing.
“The activities of Sudcam is robbing us of our livelihood and we do not have any reliable institution to address our grievances”
, said Mekoulou Ondo Thomas of Edjom community.
“We are partnering with Greenpeace Africa and other artists in this campaign against land grabbing because we know that the more people we have standing with us, the bigger the chances of our voice being and action being taken by relevant authorities. We want to call on our senators and parliamentarians to enact appropriate laws to protect us from the activities of Sudcam,”
Sudcam has cleared over 10 000ha of forest for a rubber plantation and some local communities and indigenous communities in the South region have been displaced and are yet to see adequate compensation for their land. There has also been irresponsible acquisition and management of land for growing natural rubber and non-respect for customary land tenure rights and compromising local food supplies for local and indigenous communities.
“Greenpeace Africa is alarmed by the land grabbing activities of multinational companies like Sudcam in the South of Cameroon. We are using this campaign to call on Sudcam to engage in a conflict resolution process with local and indigenous communities and stop deforestation. Sudcam must prioritise restitution of lands and adequately compensate displaced communities. The company should also publicly disclose all documents related to its ownership, land acquisition process and environment and social impact assessment that it has carried out”
said Eric Ini, Forest Campaigner for Greenpeace Africa.