Saturday, December 27, 2014

[biofuelwatch] Fwd: The Cry from Talangaye village, are they coming back? Herakles Farms in Cameroon – Contributing to a Sustainable Future! [1 Attachment]

Subject: The Cry from Talangaye village, are they coming back? Herakles Farms in Cameroon – Contributing to a Sustainable Future!

Contributions to community schools, hospitals, clean water facilities and community programming, No restriction on tax-loss carry forwards, Ability to expand the amount of land under the same terms and conditions, Sale of Merchantable Timber - up to 3 billion cubic meters of timber available, Herakles obtained permission from Ministry of Forestry to process and sell, Initial pricing indicates sale of timber could provide immediate profit uplift. Read more from -

Will farmlands or other assets be destroyed and what happens? What shows that Herakles Farms will respect all of its engagements/decisions and will not alter them in the course of time? How is Herakles Farms jointly demarcating buffer zones and plantation areas? Will there be enough land left for village use? More from -

Free, Prior and Informed Consent is a right established in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and other international human rights instruments that guarantees that Indigenous Peoples and other local communities have the right to say "yes" or "no" to any project that will affect their lands, territories, natural resources, knowledge or culture. FPIC is an important policy mechanism to keep extractive industries, international financial institutions and other interests at bay. Unfortunately, it is poorly understood and poorly implemented by SGSOC. More from -

What do we mean by land grabbing? - The polite way to say it would be 'large-scale land ac­quisitions:' land purchases often involving tens or even hundreds of thousands of hectares existing farms or forest, and often intended to produce commodities for foreign food and biofuel markets. More from -

Our region in Cameroon is endowed with fertile land and an abundant natural resource base that would contribute enormously to development and solve food insecurity in Cameroon if well harnessed and exploited, but greed, laziness, hate, bad roads to farm, with corruption deprives a majority of the natives from benefiting from the resources. More from -

These illegal operators operate with the blessing of the administrative authorities and MINFOF. Concerns have been raised over the misuse of certain logging permits in the country, and over a lack of effective regulation and law enforcement. Recent research surrounding the logging sector in Cameroon has also highlighted the threat of land conversion for oil palm plantations to the country's forest resources, as well as to its forest-dependent communities. Read from -

To conduct a large scale project, the land laws in force in Cameroon require that the operator fall into one of the following two categories - landowner, leaser of the land from the landowner (the State or local council for land areas of this size), in today's outsized plantation development discussion we're told this is necessary to give legal and fiscal exemptions to investors. But we don't actually see any development resulting from investments – what we see is exploitation of existing farms, forest, humans and our natural resources. This is a fight for the livelihoods of rural farmers. Read more from -

Land-grabbers have exposed broken promises, intimidation, bribery and illegal logging. Local communities are often frustrated when they see "their" resources disappear, their lives destroyed and no concrete improvements in their standard of living. Read more from -

As investors fled and employees were furloughed, the few remaining supporters called for new management. New men were called in to stabilise Herakles farms and they acquired Presidential Decrees to finally officialise their presence in Cameroon (while violating law's on community right to consultation) – although ambitions were tempered when they received the right to only 20,000 hectares of land, way below the 70,000 they were originally after. The comeback was so impressive Herakles Farms was even named to Global Exchange's prestigious top 10 corporate criminals list. More web links -

Clearing and logging are now taking place on a larger scale in the concession area, and logs are being marked in a way that clearly indicates that they are intended for commercial sale. Herakles Farms is not, however, licensed to operate as a commercial logger or timber trader in Cameroon. The company's former CEO, late Bruce Wrobel, stated as much himself in an open letter from September 2012: "We surrendered the timber to the government and took a lower lease rate, as we are not commercial loggers… This will… add huge value to the government's timber income." Please read more from -

The palm oil project being developed by the US-owned company Herakles Farms in Cameroon demonstrates the threat posed by badly managed expansion of oil palm plantations. The project covers 73,086 hectares (180,599 acres) of forest and existing farmland and is home to an estimated 14,000 people, mostly small farmers. Residents and local farmers are fiercely opposing the plantation, fearing it will deprive them of their farmland and access to forest products. International and Cameroonian NGOs, farmers, and scientists are also critical of the project on the grounds of illegality, social and economic injustice and environmental destruction. Full details at -

Africa has a long history of palm oil production, and it continues to have a central and symbolic role for local people and for local economies. But the sudden upsurge in land deals and investments conducted by palm oil companies for large-scale monocultures in western and central African countries – often through opaque deals – is likely to lead to large-scale deforestation, climate change, social abuses and the loss of farmland from local communities. A large part of this demand is down to a growing reliance on biofuels. Europe alone would require over a fifth of current global production of bulk vegetable oils to replace 10% of road transport diesel demand by 2020 as required by an EU law directive introduced in 2009. The production of biofuels puts pressure on agricultural land, which may lead either directly or indirectly to the destruction of natural ecosystems such as tropical forests. This can also imperil food security and people's livelihoods.

The give away deal -

The cry from Talangaye village, are they coming back? YES Why - THE TIMBER..........................

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