About this blog

Oil palm is a traditional native crop for West and Central African communities, who are used to either plant them on their lands or to collect fruits, leaves or sap from native palms to use them in their daily lives: from locally processing palm oil to be used in the household or sold in the local markets to producing palm wine. Oil palm is part of their culture.

However, in recent years things have started to change. Mainly driven by the international demand for palm oil –and more recently for agrofuels- African communities are facing the expansion of large scale oil palm plantations. Governments are opening the doors to corporations for planting vast areas of land with oil palm plantations. This trend is not only happening in West and Central African countries, but is even expanding to parts of Eastern Africa.

Large scale oil palm plantations are already causing serious environmental and social impacts in some countries, resulting in loss of community rights over their territories.

In August 2010, the World Rainforest Movement first published under this blog a series of draft articles for comments. After several comments received, all the original articles were updated and as a result a publication was released.

The publication “Oil palm in Africa: past, present and future scenarios” contains a general introduction to the issue of oil palm in Africa, followed by specific information on the 23 countries analyzed under this research.

The publication has been translated in full into English and French.

The English version can be accessed at: http://wrm.org.uy/countries/Africa/Oil_Palm_in_Africa.pdf

The French version can be accessed at: http://wrm.org.uy/countries/Africa/Palmier_a_huile_en_Afrique.pdf

Nevertheless, under the current blog we have left the final versions of articles by country in each country’s “official” language.

We hope that this work will serve for assisting communities already impacted by or targeted for oil palm plantations in defending their territories and livelihoods threatened by government-sponsored oil palm corporations.

Given that we are planning to update the publication on a regular basis, we encourage the readers of the book and the blog to send us any new information that should be considered.

Finally, we invite readers to visit WRM special section on Oil palm in Africa where further information on the subject can be accessed.

24 Responses to About this blog

  1. barrister akpofure paul omose says:

    certainly the state goverment in the eastern and southern nigeria foriegn coporation specifically the chinese has grabbed large hectares of land from indigenious communities in IMO STATE AND ABIA STATE and alot others have happened so swiftly.These really has affected the enviroment and eco system mainly becoause a large scale in the use of chemical fertilizers.Additionally,the price of oil has gone up and difficult for the local people to access.The palm oil beign processed by this big foriegn corporations are exported to asia and europe without involving the local people in the technical know-how to easily develop and support local farmers

  2. Antonieta Candia says:

    Esses plantios poderiam ser adaptados a terras já degradadas como uma forma de recuperação e aproveitamento pelas comunidades carentes. Poderiam fazer parte de mega projeto de inclusão social.

  3. Moudingo Jean Hude says:

    Thanks for the concern brought up here. Such initiative of palm oil plantation is not new again in Cameroon as the story came -up sometime last years in the purported extension of surface cover by PALMOL. The company intends to increase the plantation on 3000 hectares by 2012. PAMOL would envisage opening a processing factory in Ekondo Titi, located east of Bakassi, we are still waiting for commencement of their activities mindfull EIAs and associated impacts. This was sometime posted in the “Cameroon Tribune” in 2009 (allAfrica.com) and comments were made. What should the way forwards when such industry and the government are special concern on poverty alleviation i.e. capitalist approach.
    So as long as Cameroon mangrove ecosystem has no specific law this ecosystem resource will continue to rough-handle. Will he coming of the REDD+ compensate for such benefit? The time will tell!

  4. KAYA Placide says:

    Je suis particulièrement interessé par ce blog qui est très important pour les spécialistes de l’environnement. Je suis directeur d’un bureau d’étude environnement et acteur directeur de la gestion des mangroves au Congo. J’ai visité les plantation de palmier à huile au Cameroun. Actuellement, le Congo s’est dans la campagne d’extension de grande superficie de ce palmier dont les raisons ne sont clairement définies dès le départ et souvent les gouvernements sont naïfs pour mettre la barre très haute dans le cadre des mitigations liées à l’utilisation des sols, la déforestation et l’usage démesuré des engrais et pesticides. Comment se fait le partage des bénéfices pendant la production? Pourquoi les populations sont souvent marginalisées en détriment des postes précaires de manoeuvre et le reste revient au occidentaux? Souvent le territoire d’exploitation devient un état dans un état comme c’est le cas des plantation industrielles d’hevea au Cameroun, etc. Nous pensons qu’il faut actuellement des plans de gestion durable de ces plantations s’avèrent ultime avant de démarrer ces plantations monospécifiques à haut risques pour les cultures d’autosuffisance des communautés locales.

  5. Lindo árbol, pero en África. Las plantaciones colombianas están, además, regadas con sangre. Sangre de campesinos despojados de sus tierras y forzados a engrosar la pobreza de las ciudades y vivir de la caridad en los semáforos. Estas tierras están siendo compradas a ‘precio de huevo’ (exageradamente baratas) por algunos inescrupulosos que podrías estar detrás del despojo. Entre ellos Mario Uribe, ex senador de la República y primo del afortunatamente hoy ex presidente Álvaro Uribe. Busquen en google el nombre de ese primo de Uribe y verán por sus propios ojos en las noticias. Abrazo desde Colombia.

  6. Emmanuel Edet Bassey says:

    Thanks for bringing this up.
    In 2004 or thereabout , the Governor of Cross River State of Nigeria Mr Donald Duke, awarded thirty thousand hectares of pristine tropical rainforest to the Obasanjo farms, a company owned by the former President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. The company proceeded to clear fell the entire area and established a monocultural plantation of oil palms. They felled trees were salvaged by another company belonging to the the former Governor of Ekiti state, Mr Ayo Fayose, who exported all the fleeches from that endeavour. The place was not burnt in other not to be captured on satalite. The then Governor of Cross River state did what he did in return for political patronage. The former president had promised to make him Vice President of Nigeria if his third term bid had succeeded. The Governor also went ahead to allow the ceeding of Bakassi Peninsula which Obasanjo accepted to ceed to the Camarouns in other to portray himself as an international states man who respected and abided by treaties and agreements reached by international bodies against the wishes of the people of Bakassi. This ultimately was calculated to win him spport for a much sought after third term Presidency. 96% of Nigeria’s Rainforest is completely gone. 2.5 percent of what is left is found in Cross River State. I am a practicing forester and I and my colleagues are quite helpless about the wanton destruction of our rainforests. Presently we are helpless to fight this heavyweight politicians who are devastating our common resources. We need help from the rest of the world to counter this.

  7. san afri awang says:

    I want to be a member of oil palm africa conection

  8. mwaura Nderitu says:

    This is a very good idea. makes it easy to see where the promotors of this unsustainable agro fuels are headed.
    Networking becomes easier with this
    mwaura

  9. Osman Marah says:

    It is a good thing to bring this up. Indeed this land grabing in poor African countries where majority of people depends on their farm lands is of a great concern. In most cases, the rights of local communities are baffled and indiscriminately abused.

    It is high time that the civil society movement accross the region stand and makes its voice heard on this unfortunate development. We need to protect our generation and future ones from this invasion, by unscrupulous foreign business concerns as well as from greedy and egocentrists politicians. The rights of local communities who have been living for centuries on these land should be protected and the so-called land seeker/invaders should be discouraged from causing further havoc on our already fragile ecosystems.

    Let the civil society movement accross the region unite to stop this threat!

  10. This is a wonderful post and may be one that should be followed up to see how things go

    A comrade e mailed this link the other day and I am desperately looking your next write. Carry on on the high quality work.

  11. Discovered your blog post via bing the other day and absolutely like it. Keep up this fantastic work.

  12. It is good concerns like this are brought. This one is just a tip of the iceberg. Sticking to this line of thought, let us also consider the trend of this modern world and ask ourselves just one question; Africa, how long are we going to be sitting down and doing so littile? The truth is, we are not doing well enough for anything as yet, maybe we are only champions in ‘corrution’. The fact about the world today is that of increasing consumerism (which creates problems and seeking solutions to the problems and so on…) and even if you refuse to take part in the chase to become productive (competitively), you would be on the loosing side and left out to grumble. I do not think we can stop the trend, what I beleive we can is to provide proper MANAGEMENT and stop all this short sightedness corruption thing eating us up so badly. Let us take the blame and face it – to do something about it. Thank you.

  13. This is very interesting,it depends on the knowledge and the understanding of facts about the oil palm to the world. It good working together. Thank you.

  14. This is very interesting,it depends on the knowledge and the understanding of facts about the oil palm to the world. Its good working together. Thank you.

  15. Busiku Patrick says:

    14.6.2011
    This is a noble job and great in its own way. Your country is just like my country Uganda that has of late through the liberalization of economy and the encouragement for FDI Foreign Development Investment had some serious work done in planting Palm trees on Lake Victoria Islands for purposes of oil production as one way of improving on the household incomes and as a base for national economy.I wish it could rollover to other parts of the country but climatic conditions cannot allow including the land tenure system.
    Thanks
    Busiku Patrick

  16. WIMA SABURI SIMBA says:

    je suis un consultant que pourrais faire pour avoir les coordonnes du groupe agro pastoral et plantatiom huilerie du congo

  17. Teghen louis says:

    I am very in press with this and will be grateful if you will reply me for gad-ices thanks

  18. dianabuja says:

    Glad to find your blog on oil palm, which are quite important here in Burundi.

  19. palm oil says:

    Oil Palm plantations are growing at rapid rates in the tropical nations of Indonesia and Malaysia. These lands were once covered by upwards to 90% rain forest just a century ago, while that has declined presently to less than 50%. This is due largely to oil palm plantations. Palm oil has been used historically as a cooking and cosmetics additive with other uses. However, the palm oil industry is now booming with its realization of clean energy. Europe has turned to this clean energy in hopes of reducing the global warming problem. Palm oil is about 8-10 times as efficient as ethanol for power. However, rainforests are being slashed and burned at record rates in these nations, to make room for more palm oil plantations. These areas which were a rich are for trees and plants as well as animals are now being turned into an oil palm monoculture for profits. Think about how the atmosphere is effected when dense rain forests are being burnt down at blinding speeds.

  20. meg ekpo says:

    ur publication is very good i love it keep on

  21. Jono ivan says:

    It’s highly welcomed in uganda since plantation won’t be set up in the existing big forests, then why not?.

  22. David Joubert says:

    It seems to me we are on the cusp of a massive threat to the environment, fuelled by greedy monopolies exploiting both people and the environment. We somehow need to ensure that this does not happen. Is there not a way in which sensible community based natural resource management, assisted by environmental groups cannot steer this? Namibia, for example, has conservancies and community forests that manage their own wildlife and plant resources, with assistance and advice from NGOs like IRDNC (Integrated Rural Development and Nature Conservation) and the Ministry of Environment and Tourism. There are a number of success stories that we can draw from Namibia, despite the obvious differences that each country has.

  23. Bright k. Needum says:

    Am interested to join as member of this association

  24. Having read this I believed it was very informative. I
    appreciate you finding the time and effort to put this information
    together. I once again find myself spending way too much time both reading and commenting.
    But so what, it was still worthwhile!

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