Indigenous_women

Indigenous Communities Lend Voice To Web Influencers To Raise Awareness On Deforestation, Rights

It is against this backdrop that Greenpeace Africa, Green Development Advocates launched the campaign with influential web actors on August 17.

The web influencers would raise awareness on the fight against deforestation in Cameroon, as well as the protection of the rights of indigenous communities, the first victims of deforestation.

This comes at the heels of the celebration of the International Day of Indigenous People on the theme “The role of indigenous women in the preservation and transmission of traditional knowledge”.

At the invitation of Greenpeace Africa, three Cameroonian web influencers will be for the next 30 days,  ambassadors of the defense  of indigenous communities’ rights, and the preservation of Cameroonian forests.  They are Betatinz, Grand Lawrenzo and Future Milliardaire , some well-known figures on the social media landscape in Cameroon, notably Facebook, TikTok and Instagram.

“The collaboration aims to  amplify the voices of indigenous forest communities, whose rights are constantly violated by activities with high pressure on the forests, such as agro-industrial concessions, like the one awarded Camvert,” says Ranece Jovial Ndjeudja, Forest  Campaign Manager at Greenpeace Africa. 

Indeed, for nearly two years, Greenpeace Africa and GDA have been campaigning against Camvert, which has been granted a provisional concession of approximately 40,000 hectares, extendable to 60,000 hectares, to plant oil palm. And on the ground, the effects continue to torment the local indigenous communities, especially women, who are finding it increasingly difficult to contribute to the preservation and transmission of traditional knowledge due to the gradual and alarming disappearance of the forest.

This is exactly what Marie Thérèse Anzouer, an indigenous Bagyeli woman, deplores when she says: ” Nice words have not yet succeeded in transforming our daily lives. The 2022 edition of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People focused on the crucial role that we women play in transmitting traditional values, but on the ground, everything that is the essence of these traditional values, namely the forest, is disappearing day by day.” 

To amplify their voice and their cry of alarm in the days to come, these influencers will raise awareness among their followers about environmental protection and the defence of the rights of indigenous communities. Beta Tinz, a web influencer taking part in the campaign, said, “We are all concerned about environmental issues. I am a woman and I know how difficult the economic situation is for me as a wife and mother at home. I can’t imagine the ordeal that indigenous women go through because of the cutting of trees in the forest, their main source of income. This is why I agreed to join this noble cause. ” 

Plastic-Bottles-1-1

Plastic Pollution Remains A Huge Problem In Africa- Greenpeace

8 million tons of plastic waste end up in Oceans every year; if the trend continues, there would be more plastic than fish by 2050.

The Greenpeace alarm comes at a time reports have it that plastic is being dumped in the Indian Ocean and Kenyan beaches.  

Greenpeace therefore urges Kenya to implement the ban on single use plastic bags.

‘’Kenyan authorities must commit to improved implementation of the ban on single-use plastic carrier bags and extend the ban to all single-use plastics. We need to envision a future where we do not accept the throwaway culture”, Greenpeace Africa Campaigner, Amos Wemanya

 Plastic pollution presents a major threat to the environment, communities and livelihoods, Amos Wemanya stated.

He suggests that across Africa, plastic pollution remains a serious problem, devastating communities’ health, the environment, and the ecosystem that millions depend on for livelihood.

Plastics are entering our oceans and environments at an unprecedented rate, the Greenpeace campaigner laments. 

To Greenpeace, “Big pieces of plastic choke and entangle species like whales, turtles and seabirds, whilst tiny pieces of plastic are mistaken for food – choking and poisoning marine animals. Our survival and that of the oceans depends on how bold we are prepared to act against plastic pollution”.

“Healthy oceans are essential to all life on earth. Oceans are home to many of the world’s most iconic species, absorb carbon from the atmosphere and provide the main source of protein for over one billion people”, Wemanya suggests.

However, plastic pollution is presenting a major threat to all these functions. Marine animals, birds and sea creatures are at risk. Plastic’s negative impact on the marine is huge. 

‘’There has never been a more important time for the global plastics treaty that Ghana is spearheading because the impact of plastic on our oceans is undeniable. Our government needs to commit support to this treaty at the upcoming ministerial meeting in September. 

‘’Only then can we truly hope that businesses will start to reimagine a model where disposable plastics are eliminated. Eliminating unnecessary and problematic plastic products and packaging such as plastic straws and single-use carrier bags, investing more in reusable and refillable systems would form a lasting solution to the plastic challenge we face today’’, Greenpeace stressed.

It is not only Kenya that needs to take firm actions towards the elimination of plastic waste in water bodies, but also countries like Cameroon where plastic is a big issue.

A report by the United Nations Environment Programme revealed 8 million tonnes of plastic waste end up in the Oceans every year.