The Cameroonian Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife wants to exploit 85,000 hectares of the 150,000 hectares of the Ebo Forest, a wooded area located in the Littoral region of Cameroon. Dissatisfied, the people of the region have decided to launch a petition against this project.
The populations of the Littoral region in Cameroon are dissatisfied. The Cameroonian Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife wants to take two concessions for exploitation, located in the Ebo forest, which they consider to be “their ancestral land heritage”. These two concessions represent 85,000 hectares out of the 150,000 hectares of the Ebo Forest, a still intact wooded area located in the Littoral region.
According to Cameroon’s Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife, the two logging concessions it wishes to exploit in the Ebo Forest are neither occupied nor exploited by the people of the region concerned. This claim is disputed by the riparian communities of Yabassi, Yingui, Ngambé and Ndikiniméki. They use the resources of these natural areas for food, health care and cultural activities.
The international NGO Greenpeace Africa supports the community of the Littoral region in this struggle. “The Ebo forest will only be protected if logging is strictly forbidden,” says Sylvie Djacbou, the forest campaign officer for Greenpeace Africa. The international organization thus recalled that the two concessions were classified on February 4, 2020 by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). “The Ebo forest is an area of biodiversity that is home to chimpanzees, forest elephants, grey parrots and other species on the IUCN Red List of Threatened and Endangered Species. The forest is also home to 12 tree species unknown to science and about 35 million tonnes of carbon,” says Sylvie Djacbou.
Prior to this new project, Cameroon had announced in 2006 its intention to transform the Ebo forest into a national park. To date, no decree has been signed to this effect. Local residents fear that the exploitation of two concessions in the Ebo Forest will deal a fatal blow to the national park project and the Ebo Forest as a whole.