Africa's tribes paying price for conservation
In 1999 the World Bank, the Dutch government and the international conservation group Tropenbos joined forces to create the Campo Ma'an park in west Cameroon. Its stated aim was to protect the forest, alleviate poverty and to allow scientific research.
But a new book published by the Forest Peoples Programme (FPP) — an international human rights group — claims that the Campo Ma'an project is a disaster that threatens to destroy the indigenous Bagyeli pygmies' cultural heritage and knowledge, and to impoverish the people further.
In this article, John Vidal describes how this and other conservation projects appear to have worsened the lives of indigenous people throughout Africa, despite major international efforts to recognise the rights of these groups.