Yaoundé, 23 July 2020 – Greenpeace Africa and local communities denounce a decision by the Government of Cameroon to open up 68,385 hectares of pristine rainforest to logging. The fate of a 65,007 ha zone of Ebo, also threatened with logging, remains unclear and must also be spared from chainsaws.
The 14 July decree to log a zone about half the size of London blatantly ignores requests by local communities and international NGOs to honor a 2006 government decision to declare the area a national park. The move also flouts Cameroon’s international commitments, and makes a mockery of its endorsement on 20 July for the international Agreement on Conservation of Gorillas and their Habitats.
“Ebo forest is home to critically endangered primates whose death sentence may have been signed by Prime Minister Joseph Dion Ngute with the approval of the President’s office,” says Sylvie Djacbou, forest campaigner at Greenpeace Africa. “Greenpeace asks once again to cancel plans for industrial logging in Ebo forest and to designate it as a self-managed park instead,” added Djacbou.
“The majority of Banen people say no to this grave injustice,” says Banen Chief Victor Yetina of the association Munen Retour aux Sources. “Ebo forest represents above all the identity of the Banen people and the association of Banen people will use all legal means to make the government reverse its decision,” Chief Yetina added.
Information obtained by Greenpeace Africa suggests that SEXTRANSBOIS, which prospected Ebo last month, may be the beneficiary of the new concession. The firm appears to be controlled by the same entrepreneurs associated with a new oil palm concession in the South Region, CAMVERT.
“The Cameroon government again chooses short-term financial gains for selected elites over the long-term interests of local communities and the protection of the environment,” continues Djacbou. “This provocation runs roughshod over the rights of 40 communities, ruins a biodiversity hotspot  and deepens the climate crisis.