Wednesday, 2 October 2013

WHAT A BAD NEWS - Nature Cameroon is shut down!

This morning I received an email from my formal project supervisor Dominic Ngwese, who works for Nature Cameroon as a president for the last 7 years. He sent me a message and told me to read about the bad news of Nature Cameroon, an environmental NGO where I did my 3-month internship last summer. Not long ago, I was reading a blog from Greenpeace International. They reported on Nature Cameroon's effort to hold meetings in communities with Greenpeace and local villagers and tried to stop the land grab scandal of the Herakles Farm. I  still cannot accept what I was told. It cannot be true...

Nature Cameroon was holding community meetings (Picture from Greenpeace Intl.)

Here I refer to the message from Dominc, as I read along I think the email was adapted from a´message disseminated by a third person.
On Sept 11th 2013, Divisional Officer of Nguti sub-division (SW Region)  Mr Kombe Henry Pasang signed decision 00196 SUSPENDING THE ORGANISATION NATURE CAMEROON

It has been confirmed that the Government of Cameroon's local administration has suspended the activities of the officially registered local grassroots NGO Nature Cameroon who have been holding a series of sensitisation and capacity building meetings in all the villages that will be affected by the proposed Herakles Farms oil palm project in the area. 
It is unbelievable that the administration would stoop so low as to cut off civil society from carrying out its basic functions. Nature Cameroon, founded in 2004 in Nguti, is now banned in its home town for “repetitive holding of public meetings”. Nature Cameroon was set up “to carryout environmental education, to collaborate with forest adjacent communities, and to promote collaborative natural resource management”. It is now being banned for doing the very thing that the administration authorized it to do. It appears that the administration do not want the people’s eyes to be open about this new project! Why would that be? Is it because of the widespread allegations of corruption, human rights abuses and numerous violations of Cameroon's laws?? Could be.....
By way of an update - as of Sept 12th 2013, the Government of Cameroon have not yet issued Herakles Farms with a Presidential land lease for their proposed project.
I guess Nature Cameroon must have been doing something right / pressing all the right buttons to get this kind of "silencing" reaction!
This email is just to inform you of the actions of the Government against civil society. Please rally to the support of Nature Cameroon and its President and CEO Mr Dominic Ngwese   ( ). We must stand up for the rights of Cameroonian civil society to speak and to educate rural communities on their rights.

 I am very sorry for what's happened with Nature Cameroon. I hope they will gain back their freedom to fight for sustainability of the country and its people, very soon.

For more details:

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Safe the forest and livelihoods - Nature Cameroon urges for donation to stop land grab in SW Cameroon

In the southwest region of Cameroon, a New York-based agri-corporation, Herakles Farms, its local subsidiary SG Sustainable Oils Cameroon (SGSOC), and a US non-profit organization All for Africa are involved in a land deal that is about to destroy over 70,000 hectares (300 square miles) of rainforest and the livelihoods of thousands of rural Cameroonians. If the project goes forward, farmland and forest will be replaced by a giant palm oil plantation.

There are known and affordable alternatives to this industrial project if one wants to really promote sustainable agriculture and human development in the area. In the three Herakles Farms’ nurseries, thousands of seedlings are ready to be planted. If the company truly wants to promote sustainable agriculture, it must hand over these seedlings to the local farmers and allow them to grow palm in a sustainable way, which should rely on diversified and environment friendly agricultural production.

Herakles Farms land grabbing activities now are at an alarming rate. To secure land and livelihoods of farmers and rural communities in Cameroon, please share with NATURE CAMEROON any urgent funding source to enable us have funding to assist in the education of the communities. 

For more details about upcoming programs of Nature Cameroon, please write to Mr. Ngwesse Dominic  Or visit our website