Yaounde, Cameroon – Singaporean based Halcyon Agri and Cameroonian subsidiary Sudcam are irresponsibly running a rubber plantation business in Cameroon according to a Greenpeace Africa report released today. Sudcam is responsible for the most devastating new forest clearance for industrial agriculture in the Congo basin. Greenpeace Africa is calling for an immediate halt to the deforestation and their land-grab from forest-dependent communities close to the Dja Faunal Reserve.
The report shows that between 2011 and 2018, Sudcam has cleared more than 10,000 hectares of dense tropical rainforest to make way for a monoculture rubber plantation, displacing local communities and posing a threat to biodiversity near a UNESCO World Heritage site. Over the last few months, clearing has accelerated, reaching a rate of almost 10 football pitches a day.
“Sudcam is a serious threat to the Dja Faunal Reserve and its unique biodiversity as well as to forest-dependent communities. We are outraged by reports that local communities have been forced from their homes without adequate compensation. We are demanding that Sudcam stop this destruction immediately,“ said Victorine Che Thoener, Greenpeace Africa project leader for the Congo Basin campaign.
The Dja Faunal Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is home to many endangered species, such as fourteen species of primates including mountain gorillas and wildlife like forest elephants, forest buffalos and giant pangolins.
The report outlines:
- The concessions overlap with the customary land of forest-dependent communities, including indigenous Baka people who allege to have been displaced without compensation
- This land is claimed without Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC)
- An “influential member” of the Cameroonian political elite, whose identity we do not know, is reported to own 20% of Sudcam. The plantation lies only seven kilometres from the Mvomeka’a mansion, security compound and airstrip of Cameroon’s head of state Paul Biya — in power for more than 35 years.
- The French taxpayer-finance institute, CIRAD, a world leader in agriculture research, has previously partnered with the Halcyon Agri’s parent firm between 2014 and 2017.
- Growing frustration about Sudcam’s action resulted in local protests and reactionary intimidation by local authorities including threats to treat protesters as terrorists.
- World-renowned companies such as Michelin, Bridgestone, Continental, Coopetires and Goodyear are Halcyon Agri’s main customers.
“We need to see Halcyon Agri and Sudcam Hevea immediately halt their deforestation as well as submit a complete Environmental and Social Impact Assessment of their activities. We also demand that Halcyon Agri and Sudcam Hevea adequately compensate community members for harms caused by the physical and economic displacement and seek Free Prior Informed Consent processes compliant with international best practice immediately,“ concluded Che Thoener”
The full report can be accessed here
Photos can be accessed here
Capucine Dayen, International Communication Coordinator for the Congo Basin- Greenpeace Africa +33 6 47 97 18 19, [email protected]
Greenpeace International Press Desk, +31 (0)20 718 2470 (available 24 hours), [email protected]