Some questions for Wildlife Conservation Society about its partnership with loggers in the Republic of Congo

On 29 October 2017, Conservation Watch wrote about how Wildlife Conservation Society is partnering with two logging companies in the buffer zone of the Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park in the Republic of Congo.

Conservation Watch’s post was based on the findings of a recent report by Survival International, titled, “How will we survive?”.

Conservation Watch sent a series of questions to David Wilkie, Executive Director of Conservation Measures and Communities at WCS. Two weeks later, Wilkie has not replied. I resent the questions today.

In the meantime, here are Conservation Watch’s questions. I look forward to posting Wilkie’s response in full and unedited when it arrives.

>> Click here for the full article on conservation-watch.org

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Guest Post by Survival International: “If the indigenous people haven’t given their consent, then WWF has no business being there”

Guest Post by Survival International: “If the indigenous people haven’t given their consent, then WWF has no business being there”

For decades, alarm bells have been ringing over the human rights abuses that WWF is contributing to in the Congo Basin. In its attempt to defend itself (14 October), WWF shows that it is still deaf to these concerns, and prepared to mislead the public.

For example, WWF talks about the “community forests” that have been established in southeast Cameroon, claiming that “each of these are a minimum of 5,000 hectares in size.” That is in fact their maximum size (some are just a few hundred hectares).

>> Click here for the full article on conservation-watch.org

Wildlife Conservation Society partners with loggers in the Republic of Congo. Indigenous Bayaka dispossessed

Wildlife Conservation Society partners with loggers in the Republic of Congo. Indigenous Bayaka dispossessed

In 1993, the Wildlife Conservation Society convinced the government of the Republic of Congo to create the Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park. It covers an area of 4,238.7 square kilometres. The park was set up without the consent of the indigenous Bayaka people, who lost a large part of their ancestral forests as a result of the park. The Bayaka are not allowed to enter the park. WCS still runs the park in partnership with the Congolese Ministry of Ministry of Forestry Economy and Sustainable Development.

WCS partnered with two logging companies operating in the buffer zone of the park: the company with the largest logging concessions in the country, Congolaise Industrielle des Bois (CIB); and Industrie Forestière de Ouesso (IFO). WCS and the Congolese government organised anti-poaching patrols inside the logging concessions.

>> Click here for the full article on conservation-watch.org

WWF responds to Survival International’s criticisms: “Protecting our planet is as much about respecting the rights of the people that depend on it as it is about protecting wildlife”

Recently, Survival International published a report titled, “How will we Survive?” It documents in detail the impact on indigenous communities of the national parks, logging concessions and trophy hunting zones that have been imposed on vast areas of land in the Congo Basin. The report is critical of the roles of the World Wildlife Fund and the Wildlife Conservation Society have played in conservation in the Congo.

Conservation Watch had some questions for ​Frederick Kwame Kumah, director of WWF’s Regional Office in Africa, about the accusations against WWF in Survival International’s report. Kumah’s replies to the questions are posted here in full.

>> Click here for the full article on conservation-watch.org

Survival International accuses WWF and WCS of supporting violence against indigenous people in the Congo Basin

Survival International accuses WWF and WCS of supporting violence against indigenous people in the Congo Basin

National parks, logging concessions and trophy hunting zones have been imposed on vast areas of land in the Congo Basin. A new report by Survival International documents how the World Wildlife Fund and the Wildlife Conservation Society have played a key role in this carve up of indigenous peoples’ lands.

The report, titled “How will we Survive?” is available here.

In the name of conservation, indigenous peoples have been evicted from their land. They are accused of “poaching”, even though they are hunting to feed their families. They are even accused of poaching when hunting outside protected areas.

>> Click here for the full article on conservation-watch.org

What works? Protected areas, indigenous territories, and conservation concessions in Peru

What works? Protected areas, indigenous territories, and conservation concessions in Peru

State-controlled protected areas (PAs) have dominated conservation strategies globally, yet their performance relative to other governance regimes is rarely assessed comprehensively. Furthermore, performance indicators of forest PAs are typically restricted to deforestation, although the extent of forest degradation is greater.

Thus starts a recent paper in Nature. The paper aims to address these shortfalls in the research, “through an empirical impact evaluation of state PAs, Indigenous Territories (ITs), and civil society and private Conservation Concessions (CCs) on deforestation and degradation throughout the Peruvian Amazon”.

Worldwide, there are 202,467 protected areas. This number has expanded rapidly over the past decades. And governments have committed to ambitious targets to expand protected areas further. Yet the conversion and degradation of tropical forests continues.

>> Click here for the full article on conservation-watch.org

Survival International abandons OECD mediation with WWF

Survival International abandons OECD mediation with WWF

Survival International has abandoned its OECD complaint that the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) funded human rights abuses in Cameroon.

Survival International made the complaint in February 2016. The OECD accepted the complaint at the beginning of 2017. The OECD set up a mediation between Survival International and WWF on 6-7 July 2017, in government offices in Bern. Since then talks had continued, but on 5 September 2017 Survival International pulled out.

In an article about the breakdown in talks, Stephen Corry, Survival International’s director, describes the complaint:

The complaint detailed Survival’s allegations that WWF was party to the theft and control of the lands of Baka “Pygmies” in Cameroon, and that the Baka were suffering catastrophic levels of abuse as a result. We said that WWF had made no attempt either to apply its own policy on indigenous peoples, or to abide by the OECD guidelines, which are designed to prevent human rights abuses arising from corporate activities.

>> Click here for the full article on conservation-watch.org