How secrecy and collusion in industrial agriculture spell disaster for the Congo Basin’s rainforests.
Central African Republic
In solidarity with the International Day of Peasant Struggle. A day to remember, emphasize and mobilize together against the persecution and violence that peasants suffer on a daily basis around the world.
A new Survival International report documents serious instances of widespread and systematic human rights abuses between 1989 and the present day in Cameroon, the Republic of Congo, and the Central African Republic (CAR) by wildlife guards funded and equipped by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), the parent organization of New York’s Bronx zoo. Documented abuses and harassment are likely just a small fraction of the full picture of systematic and on-going violence, beatings, torture and even death.
This report aims to draw attention to violations and threats that environmental justice defenders in Central Africa are facing, specifically in the Congo Basin. The report is based on two studies. The first concerns the legal framework for the protection of environmental justice advocates in Central Africa. The second focuses on the inclusion of communities' rights in Central African countries.
A video produced by GRAIN shows how rural women in West Africa are working to protect traditional palm oil production in the face of the destructive expansion of industrial oil palm plantations. See the video at: https://www.grain.org/es/article/entries/5467-west-african-women-defend-traditional-palm-oil
The Congo Basin in Central Africa contains the second largest forest in the world. Its extensive territory is shared by six countries: the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Congo, Gabon, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, and Equatorial Guinea. With this Bulletin we seek to explore in depth and report on the intense land-grabbing that people are confronted with and resist in this region—a forested area that houses and provides the livelihood and sustenance for around 30 million people.
A report from the Rainforest Foundation UK, shows how attempts of community based forest management in the Congo Basin thus far have not been able to transfer meaningful rights or benefits to local communities. Only around 1% of the total Congo Basin is under the formal control or management of local communities while industrial-scale logging represents by far the biggest land use in the region.
In 2013, the Central African Republic was plunged into a conflict that has cost over 5,000 lives and displaced more than a million people. When the insurgent group Seleka seized power in a bloody coup d’état, Seleka rebels were dispatched to the country’s rainforests. Here they struck lucrative deals with logging companies that helped bankroll a fierce campaign of violence against the country’s population.