Forest campaigner Greenpeace Africa has expressed shock at the the activities of Dutch firm Wijma and her subsidiary COFECO in Cameroon.
The firm revealed last week that it was ceasing operations in Mamfe, South West Region of Cameroon due to the ongoing crisis in the English-speaking parts of Cameroon. The firm however said it will continue its operations in the East Region of Cameroon.
This has prompted Greanpeace’s forest campaigner Greenpeace Africa’s Forest Campaigner, Eric Ini to hit out at the firms actions in the area despite the crisis that has led to over 161.000 internally displaced persons.
“It’s shocking that Wijma and CAFECO were still logging timber with an FSC certification, under armed escort in the South West Region until recently. This region is witnessing a conflict that has seen close to 160,000 internally displaced persons and 45,000 refugees flee to neighbouring Nigeria. It’s scandalous for Wijma to have continued logging under such conditions,” Eric Eni said in a statement.
“Ironically, Wijma told Dutch media last month it does not see any problem with logging timber in a conflict zone. This clearly contradicts FSC certification regulations. All of its concessions in the region lie within a conflict zone wherein travel is extremely inadvisable especially to foreigners. For Wijma to stop timber logging and processing only after being pushed out by the intensity of the ongoing conflict is nothing but excessive corporate greed!
“Armed groups and regular government forces have been battling for close to two years with many deaths. Wijma has been silently reaping the spoil without any inkling of corporate social responsibility. The questionable manner and method Wijma went about her activities in the region during this period will eventually be revealed.
“Greenpeace Africa thinks Wijma cannot continue to brand itself as an FSC certified supplier for stock timber and from any other source. Rather than hastening to expand production in the South of Cameroon, the company should take time for sober reflections and re-evaluate its indirect role in the ongoing conflict in Cameroon”