Dja Forest Reserve:Minister Rejects Deforestation Allegations

Minister Philip Ngole Ngwese told Senators that the agro-industrial company Sud Cameroun Hévéa has not carried out deforestation activities within the reserve.

The Minister of Forestry and Wildlife,  Ngole Philip Ngwese on July 5, 2017 during a question time plenary sitting of the Senate refuted allegations by the international environmental protection organization, Greenpeace that the agro-industrial company, Sud Cameroun Hévéa carried out the deforestation of about 5,900 hectares of the Dja Forest Reserve. He answered the question asked by Senator Pierre Flambeau Ngayap.

“I want to say that we are used to getting alarming information from Greenpeace and other NGOs which are very active in the environmental sector. Concerning the specific issue of the deforestation of the Dja Forest Reserve alleged by Greenpeace, I want to say that the information is totally wrong,” the Minister said. He explained that in 2010, the Head of State granted a concession to Sud Cameroun Hévéa and another concession in 2015 for the company to be able to open some plantations. “All these concessions are not within the scope of the Dja Forest Reserve as they are far away from the reserve,” he added.

Giving details, Minister Ngole Ngwese said that the forest reserve is made up of two components; the central core which is the reserve itself and the other component is the buffer zone which is like a belt protecting the heart of the reserve. He said the concessions granted the company are out of the buffer zone. He made it clear that the deforestation of 5,000 hectares which took place some time ago was within the concessions granted. The Minister said that with all these explanations, nothing necessitated the call by Greenpeace that government should suspend the contract of Sud Cameroun Hévéa.

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