Forest Crime File: Corporate Crimes, april 2003
Engelstalige publicatie over illegale houtkap door houtbedrijf Reef in Kameroen.

Auteur: Greenpeace, Forests Monitor, CED

Omschrijving: The Dutch logger and timber trader Reef has an excellent environmental reputation. But
Reef’s own logging activities are not always as environmentally and socially responsible as
Reef wants its customers to believe.

In March 2003, researchers from Centre pour l’Environnement et le Developpement (CED),
Forests Monitor and Greenpeace documented evidence of large-scale illegal logging by Reef in
Cameroon. These joint field investigations revealed that Reef has logged outside its legally
allocated cutting permit, VC 11-06-13. Also, Reef logged a large area, well outside the official
limits of another area, VC 11-06-12.

Using Global Positioning System (GPS) co-ordinates, the investigations have provided
evidence of an illegal road network, log ponds1 and abandoned logs outside Reef’s legally
allocated logging areas.

Some of the illegally cut logs were found to have been fraudulently marked with Reef’s legal
logging title marks, which is a clear method of laundering illegal timber into the marketplace.
The investigations also revealed that Reef’s logging operation was very destructive, causing
significant ecological damage. Also, it caused significant economic losses to the Cameroonian
government, and economic loss and social damage to local communities.

Illegal road construction has destroyed agricultural and cash crops of numerous local
villagers. These farmers depend upon these plantations for food and cash incomes, and
received no compensation at all. Local villagers were so angry with the company that they
blockaded the logging operation using traditional methods (see cover). CED, Forests Monitor
and Greenpeace believe that Reef must be held accountable for the damage it has caused, and
that the Cameroonian government and the local people must be fully compensated.

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