Rainforest or Revenue?
An American owned company with a track record of illegality and links to private equity giant Blackstone Group threatens to destroy rainforests and dislocate local communities in Cameroon.
A new report from The Oakland Institute, in collaboration with Greenpeace International, exposes how a New York-based agri-corporation, Herakles Farms, and its local subsidiary SG Sustainable Oils Cameroon (SGSOC), are involved in a land deal that is questionable under Cameroonian Law, opposed by locals since 2010 and has just pulled out of the industry’s sustainable certification scheme.
Claiming it is “addressing a dire humanitarian need,” Herakles Farms intends to establish a massive 73,000-hectares palm oil plantation – one of the largest on the continent – in Southwest Cameroon through a 99-year land lease. Being developed without the consent and adequate consultation of many local communities, this project exemplifies how the scramble for land in Africa threatens sustainable development and human rights. Evidence in the film The Herakles Debacle, produced by the Oakland Institute, documents the scope of community resistance and forest destruction that will result from the project.