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Food Security and Forest Protection in Cameroon

Communities discuss innovations in small-scale farming

Feature story - April 18, 2013
Responding to a recent spate of industrial palm oil projects in Cameroon, Greenpeace Africa is working with a Cameroonian NGO to show how small-scale farming projects are a better development option -- for communities on the ground and Cameroon's rainforests.

The rich forests of South West Cameroon support thousands of communities, by providing food, building materials and medicine. Greenpeace Africa is working with Cameroonian NGO ACDIC (Association Citoyenne pour la Defense des Interêts Collectifs) to assess how small-scale farming can offer a responsible development path, in contrast to a proposed industrial palm oil plantation in the region, which threatens local livelihoods and the environment.

Cameroon Rainforest
The rainforest is home to many communities and is also a biodiversity hotspot of global importance. African Forest Elephants, whose numbers have collapsed due to habitat loss, still roam here, and endangered chimpanzees chatter in the canopy above.

To address this, representatives of local communities came together at a workshop held by Greenpeace Africa and ACDIC in the town of Kumba on April 16, to share ideas on how to ensure food security and forest protection. Approximately 90 people attended, and identified technical support for farmers, access to land, and producing food locally for local consumption as some of the key factors in achieving this.

Community Resistance
Communities affected by the Herakles project are mobilising themselves and investigating sustainable alternatives to industrial palm oil projects. Greenpeace has been working with local partners on the ground to support these efforts.

This provides a positive and viable alternative to the 73,000 hectare palm oil project proposed by US-based corporation Herakles Farms, which would jeopardize the livelihoods of more than 14,000 people who currently live and farm in the concession area. Fearful of losing their lands and livelihoods, some local people have protested against the project, and have faced intimidation and arrest.

Watch this short video to find out more about the proposed Herakles palm oil project and the likely impact it will have on local communities, biodiversity, and the forest.

Greenpeace is campaigning for the palm oil industry and investors to implement a transparent ‘Zero Deforestation Policy’, which respects the rights and livelihoods of local communities and ensures the protection of natural forest.

Get Involved


actionRight now, the most important thing we can do to protect Cameroon's rainforest
is call for the Herakles palm oil project to be stopped.
Take action here.

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