Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Protect Nature But Attack the Indigenous

 International wildlife charities are funding anti-poaching squads that arrest, torture and kill indigenous 'pygmy' people for hunting in their ancestral forests in the Congo Basin, according to the charity for tribal people, Survival International.
Conservation organisations including the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) have backed ranger teams who have forced forest dwellers out of national parks in Cameroon, Central African Republic, and Congo Republic, said the report.

 Since 1989, the expansion of protected parks has led to the eviction of indigenous Baka and Bayaka people from their homelands, the criminalisation of traditional forest hunting, and brutal attacks by wildlife rangers, said Survival. The report said forest "eco guards", equipped and coordinated by wildlife charities, are responsible for more than 200 attacks, including burnings with hot wax, maimings with machetes and killings.
"We have met with scores of victims, who have told us about the suffering they have undergone: extreme violence, beatings, in some cases torture and even death at the hands of these squads," Survival campaigner Mike Hurran told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. The report collects 18 years of testimony to charities and university researchers by communities in the Congo Basin, a forested area nearly the size of Mexico - that is shared between six equatorial African nations.

 Driven from their ancestral forest land, the Baka and Bayaka are now confined to roadside settlements where their health is plummeting, Hurran said.
"They're struggling to find enough to eat, they can no longer use the forest medicines they rely on, they're forced to contend with new diseases that are more prevalent in this environment, from malaria and typhoid, to venereal diseases, HIV/AIDS, and alcoholism as well," he said.

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