Greenpeace Africa opposes stifling of free speech over Herakles Farms Project, Cameroon

Press release - September 26, 2013
Johannesburg -- Greenpeace Africa strongly disagrees with the decision of Cameroonian authorities to forbid local NGO Nature Cameroon from informing residents of the threats posed by Herakles Farms palm oil project to their livelihoods and environment in the country’s South West Region.

The Divisional Officer of Nguti issued the order to allegedly preserve “peace, law and order” in the area. Thus far the activities of Nature Cameroon have been conducted in an official and peaceful manner.

“This suspension order is the latest suppression of Cameroonian civil society as it attempts to inform people of the risks of this palm oil project,” says Fiona Musana, director of communications with Greenpeace Africa.

“Herakles has failed in its legal obligations to satisfactorily consult and inform residents of the implications of their project. Nature Cameroon are merely fulfilling that role in a peaceful manner and truthfully if there is a threat to the peace in the area it comes not from NGOs, but from the company itself.”

Greenpeace Africa calls on the Cameroonian authorities to revoke this order and to fully respect the rights of Cameroonian civil society to question and voice opposition over ill-conceived projects such as that of Herakles Farms.

To read a full report on the Herakles Farms project in South West Cameroon follow this link:

http://www.greenpeace.org/international/Global/international/briefings/forests/2013/Herakles_ExposedFinal.pdf

For press enquiries:

Fiona Musana, Director of Communications, Greenpeace Africa, +27 7989 40495,

Alexa Phillips, Communications Coordinator, Greenpeace Africa, +44 7799886741,