Rubber tree plantation in Kribi, Cameroon

The rubber tree plantation of Hévéa was created by the State in 1975. From that moment and specially after the privatisation, different populations, including Bagyeli and Bulu people, have complained against land expropriation and deforestation.


Description

The Rubber plantation of Hévécam in the Kribi Region exists since 1975. Since that moment, different populations have claimed compensations for the expropriation of their lands and condemn the destruction of the rainforest and water pollution. In the first years, there were important conflicts with residents, specially the Bulu communities, clearly against the plantation. Now, it has become a low intensity conflict, with residents showing some kind of resignation, probably because they see impossible to fight against such a big company -Hévécam is one of the three major employers in the country after the State- and they mainly demand to be compensated somehow: to get  infraestructures (roads, points, schools, medical dispensary…), the recruitment of residents for high rank positions, the possibility to have their own plantations and to establish clear limits for the concession.

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Basic Data
NameRubber tree plantation in Kribi, Cameroon
CountryCameroon
ProvinceWest region
SiteNiété
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock Management)
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Land acquisition conflicts
Deforestation
Plantation conflicts (incl. Pulp
Specific CommoditiesRubber
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsHevecam (Société des Hévéas du Cameroun) was born like a public company, created like a Development Society in 1975 with the goal of creating an industrial pole for the creation of a rubber plant. In 1996, after years of crisis and the privatización imposed by Structural adjustment programmes, the State sold the company to GMG International, filial of GMG Global, with headquarters in Singapour, keeping the property of the other 10%.

Since 2016, GMG Global operates as a subsidiary of Halcyon Agri Corporation Limited, controlled by Sinochem International.

Nowadays, the plantation covers about 42.000 hectares and the company is one of the main employees of the country. It has a processing facility of over 50,000 metric tones.
Project Area (in hectares)42,000
Start Date01/01/1975
Company Names or State EnterprisesGMG Global Ltd (GMG) (GMG Global Ltd (GMG)) from Singapore - It was the company that bought Hévécam to the State of Cameroun in 1996
Halcyon Agri Corporation from China
Sinochem International from Cambodia - Final owner of Hévécam
Relevant government actorsState of Cameroun: the Government has the legal authority to grant or reject the concessions ofer the land.
International and Financial InstitutionsBank of Central African States (BEAC)
The World Bank (WB) from United States of America
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersWWF: http://wwf.panda.org/

Tropenbos: http://www.tropenbos.org/

CIFOR: https://www.cifor.org/es/

CED: http://www.cedcameroun.org/
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
When did the mobilization beginMobilization for reparations once impacts have been felt
Groups MobilizingIndigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Landless peasants
Forms of MobilizationOfficial complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Arguments for the rights of mother nature
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Desertification/Drought, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Health ImpactsPotential: Occupational disease and accidents
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Land dispossession
Potential: Violations of human rights
Outcome
Project StatusIn operation
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.No, it's been more than 20 years since the rubber plantation was estabished and the populations are still asking for compensations and a real land demarcation for the project. Affected residents complain about defoestation and loss of livelihood, but very few has changed.
Sources and Materials
Legislations

In March 2017, it was launched the "LandCam project", that aims to secure land and resource rights of communities and improve the management of Cameroon's forest areas. The programme will be open for five years, until december 2021.
[click to view]

References

"Towards fair and effective legislation on compulsory land acquisition in Cameroon"
[click to view]

Indigenous peoples’ land rights in Cameroon: progress to date and possible futures
[click to view]

[2] J F Gerber, "The bulu communities against the Hevecam plantation in Cameroun "
[click to view]

Links

[4] The Saving of Campoo Maan National Park. WWF Panda
[click to view]

[1] Disagreements between Hevecam plantations residents. Camerounweb
[click to view]

[3] Cameroon: FAO’s rubber “forests".
[click to view]

Land Rights: Bagyeli Pymies Decry Dispossession.
[click to view]

Cameroon rubber. Hevecam says to double rubber outpul
[click to view]

Other Documents

Rubber harvest in Cameroun
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorAurora M. Alcojor, Carro de Combate.
Last update31/12/2018
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