SGSOC Palm Oil Concession

Report
LARGE SCALE LAND
ACQUISITION AND LOCAL
COMMUNITIES IN
CAMEROON.
LARGE SCALE LAND ACQUISITION THREATEN LOCAL
COMMUNITIES
Dialogue Parliament-Government on land reforms
in Cameroon JUNE 11-12, 2013
Jaff Bamenjo, RELUFA
Background



Large scale land acquisition for agro projects: an
unfolding phenomenon
Key assumption is that industrial agro projects
brings employment and development
Concern is its infringement in land/resources rights
of local communities
Emerging trends




Growing global demand for bio-fuels and also food
Promoted by private companies (USA, France, Malaysia
etc and some states (China, Bahrain, India, Kuwait, Saudi
Arabia)
Clash: customary land rights  commercial land
deals
Conflict: local communities  Multi-National
Companies
Large scale plantation
Pull factors in Cameroon


Available and suitable land and an attractive
destination for oil palm developers.
Enabling environment with incentives that
attracts foreign investments
However current context problematic…




Ordinance N. 74/1 of 6 July 1974 art 1. State is
the custodian of land and its intervention is
necessary for its rational management
Land legislation not sufficiently protective of
customary land ownership and hence not adapted
to current realities
Increasing food and land insecurity
Need for land reforms that takes in to consideration
local land needs
Some large Scale land deals in
Cameroon
-Problem of data (secrecy )
- Between 1.6 to 2 million Ha of land are requested
- Land targeted for sugar cane, banana, palm oil, rubber, rice
etc
 Herakles USA (73.000 HA) SIME DARBY Malaysia (300.000 HA) CARGILL USA (50.000 HA) HEVECAM (59400 HA)
 PHP France (6000 HA)
 SOCAPALM (78.329 HA)
Contracts……
Concession or land lease
 It can be short (between 5 to 10 years) or long
term (25 to 99 years)
 Case of SGSOC and SOSUCAM : 99 years
 Case of PHP : 25 years, SOCAPALM :60
years ;

Case study for Land Deals in
Cameroon
Herakles Oil Palms
South West Region
Facts



73.000 HA
Local resistance
Herakles 13th labor: A
study of SGSOCS land
concession in South West
Cameroon www.ced.org,
www.relufa.org
Some impacts


Food shortages
Food insecurity
Challenge
The food security/food sovereignty situation in the
region is already fragile and the project risks
exacerbating it
- Economic growth preferred to food security and local
harmony?
- From agric entrepreneurs to plantation laborers?
- Cost benefit analysis (low land rents)
-
SGSOC V SOCAPALM
Population
Social impacts…..

Loss of customary land/resources
Case of the Bagyéli in KILOMBO.
 - Lost their rights and access to the forest
through the implantation of SOCAPALM- in
KIENKE in the South Region

Cameroon:

Land is simply life for most of the local communities
State is the custodian of all land but population rely on their

customary land rights
70% of the active population is involved in agriculture


Large scale land acquisition by private companies can lead to
breached rights for local communities
Social impacts…..



Restriction of access to land and resources like in
the village of Fabe, location of nursery of Herakles,
Communities in Nkoteng complain of being reduced
to 40 Ha for 1500 inhabitants due to expansion of
SOCUCAM sugar plantation
youths in Dibombari and Bonalea are inactive
following expansion of SOCAPALM
Consequences: Third Parties Ignored

Large Scale Investments impact third parties
 Communities
 Other

Investors (problem of overlapping)
Third parties rights’ violated
 Consultation
 Compensation
SGSOC & Optimum Mining Conflict
Optimum Mining Nwangale
Permit
SGSOC Palm Oil Concession –
Article 23.3 of SGSOC’s contract gives
the company a right to compensation if
SGSOC suffers
“any hindrance, whatsoever, through the
action or inaction of
government”
Advocacy On Land Issues
Observation




Little role for host communities
in negotiating land deals
No protective legislation on
customary land ownership
Absence of clear obligations
and predefined sanctions
No consensual land policy
despite existence of land
legislation
Advocacy scenario’s




Improve the policy
framework
Land use planning
Transparency in
contracts/conventions
Support to small
holders
Proposals





Strengthen land registration through appropriate legislation on
customary land tenure for local communities
Moratorium on new concessions until a national land cadastre to
conduct proper zoning and allocation for various activities
Reduce the scale and duration of land concessions
Inform local communities, engage them and obtain their free, prior,
informed consent before any large scale project goes ahead
Support small scale agriculture
THANK YOU FOR
LISTENING

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