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Cameroon | China-owned rubber plantation clears land within 1 km of WH-listed Dja Faunal Reserve

An industrial rubber plantation is currently developing land right on the edge of Cameroon’s Dja Faunal Reserve. And it’s getting closer, according to an analysis of satellite data released by Global Forest Watch. The data indicate the plantation, operated by China-owned Sud Cameroun Hévéa (Sudcam), is now less than 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) away from intact primary forest habitat. Development is ongoing amid concerns about threats to endangered species within and outside the park, as well as alleged violations of community land rights and political affiliations with the Cameroonian government.

Global Forest Watch analyzed satellite data collected by the University of Maryland’s Global Land Analysis and Discovery (GLAD) lab. It indicates that expansion is accelerating, with 10 square kilometers (3.9 square miles) of tree cover affected between November 2017 and January 2018 alone, according to the report. To date, Sudcam has been awarded more than 450 square kilometers (177 square miles) of land for development, of which it has cleared over 90 square kilometers (35 square miles). A 2018 Greenpeace report called this expansion “by far the most devastating new clearing of forest for industrial agriculture in the Congo Basin.”