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Source: Greenpeace –

Yaoundé, 2 April 2020 – Greenpeace Africa joins a call by local people in Cameroon’s Littoral Region to immediately cancel government plans to turn an area of nearly 150,000 hectares of pristine forest designated for a national park into two logging concessions. 

“Conservation cannot be done with chainsaws and the Ebo forest will only be protected if logging is strictly banned,” said Sylvie Djacbou, forest campaigner for Greenpeace Africa. “This is a time when governments must tackle a global health crisis. Plans to set aside new areas for logging would only exacerbate the global climate and biodiversity crises,” added Djacbou.

More than 40 communities surround the Ebo forest and rely on the forest for food, medicine and cultural activities. In 2006, the Cameroonian government designated Ebo forest a proposed National Park, although no decree was ever signed. Ebo is a biodiversity hotspot, home to nut-cracking chimpanzees and some of the most important populations of Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzees, drills, forest elephants, grey parrots and other IUCN Red List Endangered and Critically Endangered species, and 12 tree species new to science.[2] The forest contains an estimated 35 million tonnes of carbon.[3] 

If plans by Cameroon’s Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife go ahead, the two logging concessions gazetted on 4 February 2020 would deal a fatal blow to the proposed National Park and to the Ebo forest as a whole, already under pressure from the neighbouring Greenfil Plantation Ltd oil palm plantation, which, with French and Malaysian technical assistance, has cleared over 1,700 hectares as of 2017.[4]  

Notes: 

[1] UFA 07005; UFA 07006. See map courtesy of BJ Morgan & RC Whytock.

[2] Bethan Morgan et al., IUCN/SSC Primate Specialist Group and Zoological Society of San Diego, “Regional Action Plan for the Conservation of the Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes ellioti),” 2011; See also: CNN, 9 March 2020, “The UN wants to protect these chimps’ unique culture,” 

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/03/09/africa/chimpanzees-west-africa-un-conservation-scli-scn-intl

[3] Global Forest Watch (2020) http://bit.ly/2Q1oTfF.

[4] Greenpeace Africa investigations in 2014 and 2018. See also: Ekwoge Abwe and Bethan Morgan, “The Ebo forest: Four years of preliminary research and conservation of the Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzee,” 2008, http://mahale.main.jp/PAN/15_2/15(2)_05.html; Rainforest Foundation UK, “Palmed Off: an investigation into three industrial palm oil and rubber projects in Cameroon and the Republic of Congo,”, 2019. www.rainforestfoundationuk.org/media.ashx/palmedoffengfinal.pdf (pp. 33-38)

www.businessincameroon.com/agribusiness/1501-6814-cameroon-with-the-expertise-of-malaysian-felda-ipco-billionaire-nana-bouba-sets-out-to-conquer-the-palm-oil-market

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