Traditional Chiefs Call for an End to Oil Palm Project on Their Lands
In a letter sent to the President of Cameroon on October 25, 2016, Traditional Chiefs from seven villages of the Nguti Subdivision in Cameroon, have formally withdrawn their support to the controversial Sithe Global Sustainable Oils Cameroon (SGSOC) project. They are requesting the President to put an end to the company’s activities on their native lands. The 13,195 hectares of land from the villages cover nearly two thirds of the current SGSOC land concession, which is approximately the size of the District of Columbia (DC). According to the Chiefs, SGSOC acquired their lands by corrupt means and did not carry out a proper consultation process. In the years since SGSOC first acquired a land lease, the company has also failed to comply with the requirements established by the 2013 Presidential Decree and to meet its commitments towards communities.
Earlier this month, EIA released the video The Wrong Project in the Wrong Place, showing the detrimental impacts of SGSOC palm oil project on community livelihoods, pristine forests, and wildlife. As the end of SGSOC’s three-year provisional land lease is approaching, the Cameroonian government has a unique opportunity to stop this project before it causes more harm by deciding not to renew SGSOC’s land lease.