Target: Paul Biya, President of Cameroon and Members of the National Assembly of Cameroon
Goal: Put a halt on plans to convert Cameroonian rainforest into a palm-oil plantation
Giant investment firm, New York-based Herakles, has made a bold move in obtaining a 60,000 hectare plot of rainforest in Cameroon with the intention of using the land to start a palm-oil plantation. With hopes to tap into the multi-billion-dollar-a-year industry, Herakles’ states their plans run in complete accordance with the area’s environmental regulations.
Not everyone is convinced, however.
An anonymous source close to the issue explains, “Animals will be wiped out and the current conservation infrastructure is ill-equipped to do anything about it.” As it turns out, this particular area of the Cameroonian landscape lies in the midst of what is considered a High Conservation Value Forest (or HCVF).
Additionally the Herakles Farm will be adjusted between four protected areas of forest (including the Rumpi Hills Forest Reserve, Korup National Park, Banyang Mbo Wildlife Sanctuary, and Bakossi National Park). The Korup National Forest alone houses in excess of 600 species of trees, 200 species of reptiles and amphibians, 400 different types of birds, 1,000 varieties of butterflies, 160 different mammals (including a rare species of elephant, leopards, and bushpigs), and the most diverse communities of primates in the world.
There are also fears that the presence of this plantation will disrupt the lives of those people living among and off of the land.
While Herakles views their business as providing “rapid path to job growth in sub-Saharan Africa,” others are unsure of the company’s sincerity and view it as a threat to the Cameroonian’s way of life. “Workers will migrate into the area seeking jobs and they will demand bushmeat,” explains the SAVE-Wildlife Conservation Fund in a statement. “Hunters will have even more incentive to violate Cameroon laws and harvest animals from inside the protected areas, where animal populations are still relatively abundant.”
In order to complete the project, Herakles is looking to get investors involved to raise the $300 million in funding—investors who may be turned off by the idea of getting involved.
Dear Paul Biya and Members of the National Assembly of Cameroon,
The rainforests of Cameroon are some of the most naturally diverse regions in the world–and some of the most vulnerable. With deforestation a common danger, it becomes increasingly important to protect these areas of forests.
Herakles Farms puts these valuable areas directly in the line of danger, with their pending project that would turn these areas of biodiversity into a wide spreading palm-oil plantation.
It is become increasingly clear that the only motivation of Herakles Farms is that of monetary gain, and is only masked behind seemingly good intentions.
It is for reason like this that I ask you to reconsider the deal made with this corporation and consider what is best for the country of Cameroon and the world as a whole. Taking a stand now will prove easier than trying to pick up the pieces in the future.
[Your name will go here]