Last update:
2018-12-31

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
Name of conflict:Rubber tree plantation in Kribi, Cameroon
Country:Cameroon
State or province:West region
Location of conflict:Niété
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 :Plantation conflicts (incl. Pulp
Land acquisition conflicts
Deforestation
Specific commodities:Rubber
Project Details and Actors
Project details:

Hevecam (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%.

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Project area:42,000
Start of the conflict:01/01/1975
Company names or state enterprises:GMG 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 actors:State of Cameroun: the Government has the legal authority to grant or reject the concessions ofer the land.
International and Finance InstitutionsBank of Central African States (BEAC)
The World Bank (WB) from United States of America
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:WWF: http://wwf.panda.org/
Tropenbos: http://www.tropenbos.org/
CIFOR: https://www.cifor.org/es/
CED: http://www.cedcameroun.org/
Conflict and Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stageMobilization for reparations once impacts have been felt
Groups mobilizing:Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Landless peasants
Forms of mobilization:Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Arguments for the rights of mother nature
Impacts of the project
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-economical 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 an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain: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
Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

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.
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References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

"Towards fair and effective legislation on compulsory land acquisition in Cameroon"
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Indigenous peoples’ land rights in Cameroon: progress to date and possible futures
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[2] J F Gerber, "The bulu communities against the Hevecam plantation in Cameroun "
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Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[4] The Saving of Campoo Maan National Park. WWF Panda
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[1] Disagreements between Hevecam plantations residents. Camerounweb
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[3] Cameroon: FAO’s rubber “forests".
[click to view]

Land Rights: Bagyeli Pymies Decry Dispossession.
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Cameroon rubber. Hevecam says to double rubber outpul
[click to view]

Other documents

Rubber harvest in Cameroun
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Meta information
Contributor:Aurora M. Alcojor, Carro de Combate.
Last update31/12/2018
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