Illegal Land Grab and Human Rights Abuses in the Congo | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


Illegal Land Grab and Human Rights Abuses in the Congo

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF), one of the world’s biggest conservation organizations, is breaking the law in its backing of a conservation zone in the Congo Basin, according to letters released today.

The letters demonstrate that the new protected area, known as Messok Dja, is being created without the free, prior and informed consent of the people who rely on that land for survival, members of the Baka and Bakwele tribes.

The letters also document human rights abuses committed by ecoguards funded and supported by WWF.

According to national and international law, indigenous people must give consent for any project affecting their lands, territories, and resources. Without the consent of the people who rely on the land for survival, the establishment of Messok Dja park is illegal.

Over a hundred people from six villages in Republic of Congo have signed the letters, which also describe horrific violence and abuse by ecoguards funded and supported by WWF.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

So let me wrap my head around this; WWF has surrounded these tribes with local thuggery, to keep them away from the forests upon which they have relied for food and sustenance for generations?

The short question has to be, "Why"?!?!?

The answer is simple; the land underneath the park means nothing, until people decide that they want to develop what lies beneath; and therein lies the rub!!

Mining in the Congo Basin

This article goes on to state: "Mining is an important land use activity in the forested region of the Congo basin, employing millions of people in the informal sector, and in the past few decades surpassing timber as the largest economic activity. Gold, diamonds, cobalt, copper and oil are major resources that are mined from the region; most mining is small scale, artisanal, and unregulated. Recently, mining groups have targeted coltan and cassiterite, rare minerals used in electronics such as mobile phones.

Oil and mineral exploitation often occurs in the forested areas of the Congo basin, clearing roads and encouraging settlement and deforestation. However, oil and mineral activity also may discourage deforestation by making agricultural export less profitable and by pulling rural populations into cities and away from forested areas, as witnessed in Gabon and Republic of Congo. In an oil "concession in Gabon, forests are well protected and hunting is not permitted."

And the following article makes the following statement: How Nations are Chipping Away at their Protected lands

This article goes on to state: "Officials in the Democratic Republic of the Congo likewise opened up their best known World Heritage Site, Virunga National Park, to oil exploration. Soco, a British company, faced global protest and returned its permit to the government last year — but only after completing seismic testing and filing a report, secret so far, on whether exploratory drilling would be practical in the park. The project heightened tensions with park officials in a region already ravaged by private armies, according to a conservation scientist working in the region, who added, “The eastern DRC is a powder keg, with so many factions, and this was literally throwing oil on the fire.”

It appears that WWF is functioning like a "holding company" for these opportunities; holding on to the land, until someone deems it "profitable enough" to drill or dig.

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