Controversial palm oil project in Cameroon rainforest to resume

mongabay.com
June 06, 2013



The Cameroonian government has lifted the suspension on controversial palm oil project in the northwestern part of the Central African nation, reports the AFP.

The project, run by U.S.-based Herakles Farms, was suspended by the company last month pending a government review of its permits. But according to the AFP, Cameroon's Minister of Forestry and Wildlife has now lifted the injunction, potentially granting the go-ahead on the project, which aims to convert some 65,000 hectares of rainforest for oil palm.

The project has been fiercely opposed by environmental groups and some locals, who say it will undermine local livelihoods and put endangered species at greater risk. Herakles has been criticized for its decision not to seek eco-certification under the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) for the project. RSPO criteria would limit the company's ability to convert forest for plantations.

"This project should be cancelled permanently, as it would have devastating social and environmental consequences for the region " said Irène Wabiwa of Greenpeace Africa, which is in the midst of a campaign against the company. “In addition, it seems increasingly clear that the company is facing serious cash flow issues. The company is not a viable long-term development partner for the Cameroonian government nor local communities, and the government would be well advised to conduct financial due diligence on Herakles Farms."

Herakles maintains the project will bring much-needed cash to the region.













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CITATION:
mongabay.com (June 06, 2013).

Controversial palm oil project in Cameroon rainforest to resume.

http://news.mongabay.com/2013/0606-herakles-suspension-lifted.html