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Cameroon: WWF Complicit in Tribal People’s Abuse

Survival International

October 6, 2014

Baka in southeast Cameroon face serious abuse at the hands of anti-poaching squads supported and funded by WWF.

Baka in southeast Cameroon face serious abuse at the hands of anti-poaching squads supported and funded by WWF.
© Selcen Kucukustel/Atlas

Survival International, the global movement for tribal peoples’ rights, has uncovered serious abuses of Baka “Pygmies” in southeast Cameroon, at the hands of anti-poaching squads supported and funded by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

The Baka are being illegally forced from their ancestral homelands in the name of “conservation” because much of their land has been turned into “protected areas” – including safari-hunting zones.

Rather than target the powerful individuals behind organized poaching, wildlife officers and soldiers pursue Baka who hunt only to feed their families.

Watch Baka recount the abuse they suffer at the hands of anti-poaching squads supported by WWF:

Baka suffer abuse in the name of conservationIn southeast Cameroon, many Baka are being illegally forced from their ancestral homelands in the name of “conservation.”They are accused of “poaching” because they hunt their food.

They face arrest and beatings, torture and death at the hand of anti-poaching squads supported by WWF.

Many Baka (such as the woman speaking in this video) in fact refer to anti-poaching squads as “dobi-dobi” (WWF), since they do not distinguish between WWF and Cameroon’s Ministry of Forests and Fauna.

The Baka and their neighbors accused of “poaching” face arrest, beatings and torture. Many Baka claim that friends and relatives have died as a result of the beatings.

Cameroon’s Ministry of Forests and Fauna, which employs the wildlife officers, is funded by WWF. WWF also provides officers with technical, logistical and material assistance. Without this support the anti-poaching squads could not function.

UN standards require WWF to prevent or mitigate “adverse human rights impacts directly linked to its operations” even if it has not contributed to them, but the giant of the conservation industry appears reluctant to acknowledge this. Despite the evidence that the anti-poaching squads have grossly abused the rights of the Baka, WWF continues to provide its crucial support.

As a result of the loss of their land and its resources, many Baka have reported a serious decline in their health and a rise in diseases such as malaria and HIV/AIDS. And they fear going into the forest that has provided them with everything they need for countless generations.

The Baka fear going into the forest which has provided them with everything they need.

The Baka fear going into the forest which has provided them with everything they need.
© Survival International

A Baka man told Survival, “The forest used to be for the Baka but not anymore. We would walk in the forest according to the seasons but now we’re afraid. How can they forbid us from going into the forest? We don’t know how to live otherwise. They beat us, kill us and force us to flee to Congo.”

Survival’s Director Stephen Corry said today, “Tribal peoples are the best conservationists and guardians of the natural world. They know more about their lands and what happens on them than anyone else. If conservation is to work, organizations like WWF need to stick to international law, uphold tribal peoples’ land rights, ask them what help they need in protecting their land, listen to them, and then be prepared to back them up as much as they can. A major change in thinking about conservation is urgently required.”

 

UPDATE 16 October: WWF has responded angrily to Survival’s campaign. Read the facts behind the headlines.

 

Notes to editors:

– “Pygmy” is an umbrella term commonly used to refer to the hunter-gatherer peoples of the Congo Basin and elsewhere in Central Africa. The word is considered pejorative and avoided by some tribespeople, but used by others as a convenient and easily recognized way of describing themselves. Read more.

– Survival has submitted a request to the Cameroonian National Commission on Human Rights and Freedoms asking it to investigate these abuses.

– Many Baka (such as the woman speaking in the video) refer to anti-poaching squads as “dobi-dobi” (WWF) since they do not distinguish between WWF and Cameroon’s Ministry of Forests and Fauna.

– Visit Survival’s Parks Need People page for other examples of tribal peoples evicted from their ancestral homelands in the name of “conservation”.

 

“Changed Everything?”

Evaluating the Climate March on its One Month Anniversary

Counterpunch

A month ago today, 300,000 people descended on New York City for the “This Changes Everything” People’s Climate March. While the parade infamously made no demands/no measurable way of gauging success, there is one inconvenient truth that can be measured. In the past month, the US spewed another 461,000,000 metric tons of carbon into the atmosphere, up 2.5% from the same month last year. And some tons of it came from flying people to and from the march. March organizers, when asked, begrudgingly admitted that “around 3000” flew in, but the number is at least ten times that. Much carbon was also disgorged from buses, trains and private vehicles traveling to the event.

When asked about the “renewable” energy product fair’s huge carbon footprint, angry celeb Mark Ruffalo stated, “Oh brother. That is a question you shouldn’t be asking here today because that defies the spirit of what this is about.”

He went on to say that anyone who questions the carbon spewed by the celebs that flew in on private jets “is either a coward or an ideologue.”

It is precisely the question that “should be asked.” The fossil-fuel-based-foundation-funded (headed by the Rockefeller Bros. Fund) spectacle of flying people on Wings of Tar Sands across the continent – roasting polar bears – so they could witness a six-figure salary professional green in a polar bear suit get arrested and post selfies with the stars “changed” nothing when it comes to actual reduction of carbon  pollution. In fact, it increased it.

As long as the Climate “Movement” is funded and run by elites seeking to control the message; seeking to cash in on “renewables”(which is what the  entire fossil fuel divestment scam is all about) while assiduously avoiding (or condemning a la Ruffalo) any mention of actual carbon consumption, nothing changes and collapse is inevitable.

The entire Environmental Movement is funded and neutered this way. Addressing Population and Consumption is off-the-table – THE  elephants in the Boiler Room – for a reason. Recently, it came out that HALF of the species on the planet have gone extinct in the past 40 years. The Big Green groups collectively raised and spent over $20 Billion (with a “B”) during that same time period. (What’s that definition of insanity, again?)

Bottom line: we could run the grid on unicorn farts, but if we keep on consuming at the same (or more likely, higher rates), we still eat the planet.

remote

This changes everything

polar This was a fund-raiser

 

 

MICHAEL DONNELLY might be an “ideologue” when it comes to protecting Gaia, but he’s no “coward.” He was offered a plane ride from Oregon to the parade. He gave up flying for good six years ago after crunching the numbers on how jet travel is the single largest contribution an individual can make to carbon pollution/Climate Chaos.

 

 

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