The first in a new series of interviews with key actors and stakeholders on the underlying challenges to effective land and forest governance in the Congo Basin, Fred Amiel of Greenpeace talks about the impacts and future risks of mining, infrastructure and industrial agricultural expansion in the region, the absence of an integrated land use planning system in the region and Greenpeace’s ‘zero deforestation’ policy.
Indigenous, hunter-gatherer peoples of the Congo Basin have a unique perception of the use of land. Their systems aim at ensuring abundance of forest resources and equal distribution among the people living in those forests. Dr. Jerome Lewis, Lecturer in Anthropology at UCL, talks about the need to take this vision into account to secure indigenous peoples' right to the land they depend on and which they have protected for centuries.
Jeanne Noah, a Bagyeli leader from Cameroon, relates how her community's ancestral forest is being threatened by a large scale rubber production project. On top of this, Jeanne explains, neighbouring Bantu communities claim as their own the little forest area which is not already under the company's control. As the Bagyeli's access to the forest, their home and sustenance, is increasingly compromised, she wonders "what are we going to do to live? And how is our children's future going to be like?".