Protecting the tropical jungle and the rights of indigenous peoples (Cameroon)
During the 21st century we have seen the spread of the terrible paradoxes of fundamentalist conservation, which expels indigenous people from their ancestral lands in the name of nature conservation, lands where they have lived sustainably for generations. As a result, different indigenous groups, such as the pygmies, are in danger of involuntary extinction.
The pygmies’ ancestors were the first humans to permanently occupy the tropical jungle of Africa 20,000 years ago, and their biological singularity represents extreme adaptation to that ecosystem.
They are hunter-gatherers, combined with a symbiotic relationship with groups of farmers who for generations have exchanged their labour for harvests, iron and pottery. The creation of protected areas in Southeast Cameroon is gradually taking away their chances of accessing their ancestral lands where they have lived sustainably for generations. Now they suffer harassment and detention in the name of nature conservation because they are trying to maintain their traditional lifestyle in their land.