“If they give up their land for palm oil, the leases are for so long that they are basically giving it up forever.”
Controversy has also dogged Cameroon’s palm oil sector. Herakles Capital, a New York investment fund, plans to plant oil palms on 60,000 hectares of its 99-year concession, which is surrounded by national parks and protected zones.
Some environmental groups want the project scrapped, and the US-based Oakland Institute published a scathing report this month.
Herakles’s withdrawal from the RSPO in September, saying the body lacked the technical expertise and resources to evaluate its project, provided critics with more ammunition.