Congo Basin NGOs call for urgent action on palm oil expansion

Environmental and human rights organisations from across the Congo Basin have called for urgent action to prevent forest destruction and violations of rights due to the expansion of industrial palm oil plantations in the region. A meeting in Douala in December, hosted by the Environmental Investigation Agency, heard how more than 70 groups are mobilising to fight this new threat to the region’s rainforests.

In 2013, RFUK’s investigative report ‘Seeds of Destruction’ alerted the world that new palm plantations threatened to increase deforestation in several African countries. African organisations say that it is essential that forest peoples’ rights to land are respected and that they are consulted before forests are allocated for palm oil. Palm oil production could bring local jobs and opportunities, but only if it is very carefully planned, environmental damage minimised, and smaller plantations put in the hands of local farmers, There should be no conversion of primary rainforest into palm oil plantations. However, new evidence gathered by RFUK shows that this is not yet happening.

Read the full position paper here.