The Group is proud to announce the formation of our 25,000 hectare Community Forest within the Sudcam concession – a land space equal to four times the size of Manhattan Island. A legal boundary has been established around the Community Forest perimeter and through work with local and international NGOs, and the Cameroon Government, this will permanently protect the land and its ecosystems. The Forest will also ensure that indigenous communities have continued access to the forest resources. Employment opportunities will be created for local people in the management of the land, strategically governed by the Cameroon Sustainability Council and other specialist agencies.
The Community Forest runs adjacent to the UNESCO World Heritage Dja Faunal Reserve, home to many species of conservation concern, including vulnerable forest elephants (Loxodonta cyclotis), endangered chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and critically endangered western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) – classified according to the IUCN Red List. The third-party Cameroon Sustainability Council ensures that the Reserve’s animals remain unaffected by our activities, and in 2013 and 2018 we signed a 5-year convention assisting the Dja Reserve’s fight against poaching. Equally, biodiversity monitoring, anti-poaching patrols, staff training and local community engagement add to our efforts in protecting these species.
With 70% of our Cameroon plantation to remain non-planted, including 8,000 hectares of High Conservation Value and High Carbon Stock land, this reserve further represents our active role in protecting the unique habitats that exist in the Congo basin. We will provide periodic updates on the environment and social benefits provided by this land. Watch this space!