Cameroon: Eleven top scientists ring alarm bell about massive palm oil plantation, cutting heart out of rainforest

As established scientists with leading academic and research institutions around the world, we would like to express deep concerns about a proposed, massive oil palm development in Cameroon, Africa. SG Sustainable Oils Cameroon, a subsidiary of American agribusiness corporation Herakles Farms, in collaboration with the American non-profit All for Africa, are planning a 70,000-hectare oil palm plantation in southwestern Cameroon. Having examined this project in detail, we question many of the claims and practices of the project proponents, especially their insistence that the “plantations will follow the highest environmental and social standards, complying fully with Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil Principles & Criteria.”

We believe that this plantation violates important RSPO rules and standards, and will have serious negative impacts on the biodiversity and people of southwestern Cameroon.

The proposed plantation is located within an ecologically vital area — one of the largest surviving tracts of lowland forest in the Gulf of Guinea. Moreover, the plantation would encompass virtually the entire area linking five crucial protected areas in the region: Korup National Park, Bakossi National Park, Banyang Mbo Wildlife Sanctuary, Nta AliForest Reserve and Rumpi Hills Forest Reserve. Its development would fragment the regional landscape and completely isolate the surrounding protected areas. Management plans for Korup National Park and Nta Ali Reserve have indicated that many animals, such as the threatened African elephant and chimpanzee and the endangered drill, actively use the proposed plantation area to forage and move among these protected areas.

Read the full letter here:
Scientists Letter on the Herakles Farms Proposed Oil Palm Plantation in Cameroon