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WWF partners with logging company destroying "Pygmy” land

May 25, 2016

By Paul Homewood




Anybody concerned that lottery funding is going to WWF might be even more alarmed about what they are up to in Cameroon.  

By coincidence, we have this report today from Survival International:


A French logging company and official partner of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is deforesting a huge area of rainforest in southeast Cameroon without the consent of local Baka “Pygmies” who have lived there and managed the land for generations, Survival International has learned.

Rougier is described as an “integrated forest & trade company” and a large “forest operator” in a WWF press release and report. It is felling trees in an estimated 600,000 hectare area, which is more than is permitted under Cameroonian law.

Rougier has also been denounced by Friends of the Earth for its activities in Cameroon, which have included illegal price-fixing, illegal logging outside a concession, felling more trees than authorized, and illegally exporting rare timber.

WWF has stated that it would never partner with a company operating on indigenous land without the consent of the indigenous people. In entering this partnership with Rougier, it has violated its own policies on indigenous peoples.

Survival recently wrote to the CEO of Rougier asking whether he believed his company had acquired the Baka’s consent for the logging. In response Rougier simply said that: “Baka communities are aware of our existence and operation.”

Under Cameroonian law, the Baka are often criminalized as “poachers” when they hunt to feed their families. In a map produced by Rougier, all Baka forest camps within one concession are labelled as “poachers’ camps.”


Rougier has been clearing rainforest in eastern Cameroon for the construction of a dam.

Rougier has been clearing rainforest in eastern Cameroon for the construction of a dam.

In February, Survival filed an OECD complaint against WWF for funding abusive anti-poaching squads in Cameroon, who have used violence and intimidation to deny tribespeople access to their land.

According to a recent report produced by the EU, not a single logging company is operating legally in Cameroon. Experts say that no logging activities are being carried out at sustainable levels.

Evidence shows that tribal peoples are the best conservationists and guardians of the natural world. Despite this, WWF has preferred to partner with international corporations that destroy the environment’s best allies – tribal peoples.

Survival’s Director Stephen Corry said: “If further proof were needed that WWF is more interested in securing corporate cash than really looking out for the environment, here it is. The absurd language it has used to try and hide this partnership with a logging firm – calling Rougier a “leading producer of certified African tropical timber” – should fool no-one, and reveals a lot about the nature of this partnership. It’s a con. And it’s harming conservation. Survival is fighting these abuses, for tribes, for nature, for all humanity. Conservation organizations should be partnering with tribal peoples to protect the environment, not the companies destroying it to make a quick buck.”

Note: "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.

  1. martinbrumby permalink
    May 26, 2016 5:35 am

    Yet another good article.
    But I urge people to get hold of a copy of Wilfried Huismann’s “PandaLeaks” and read that.
    Of course, you need to be aware before you part with the price of this book, that Huismann is a deep green loon.
    But he seems to be at least an honest deep green loon (oxymoron alert, I know!)
    Huismann dishes the dirt on WWF in epic style. And gives very useful references, sources and facts to back up his often lurid exposures of the Evil Empire that WWF has become.
    In many cases other points of view are not only possible but are persuasive, For example, I don’t buy into the idea that farming salmon cannot be done responsibly. But the cynical way WWF supplies the Greenwash enabling even the most incompetent and rapacious operators to claim to be ‘sustainable’, will have you choking on your cornflakes.
    It says something for the corruption, dishonesty and ineptitude of the mainstream media, our beloved political ‘elite’ and the ‘charities’ industry that WWF and other bunches of crooks (Fiends of the Earth, Greenpiss and all the rest) are STILL the go-to talking heads of choice for the BBC and taken seriously both by business men and little old ladies everywhere.

  2. Bloke down the pub permalink
    May 26, 2016 8:25 am

    But the trees are being felled to make way for a dam so that they can make lots of green energy, so that’s all right then.

  3. roger permalink
    May 26, 2016 9:07 am

    A laudable and sincere Victorian concept now commercialised and politicised beyond contempt.
    Shed tears for humanity or give your time and presence if you can, but don’t waste your money.
    Cameron and a raft of cynics is doing that for us with both trotters.

  4. dennisambler permalink
    May 26, 2016 11:22 am

    More on this from Donna LaFramboise:

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