Shadows In The Forest

17 min - USA Matthew Prouty

The indigenous communities of Cameroon are losing the very essence of their culture and are powerless to prevent it. These communities, commonly known as Pygmies, have lived in the forests of the Congo Basin for thousands of years and are now being removed from their land. Their own government does not acknowledge their existence and as their protests go unheard their land is destroyed and replaced by uninhabitable palm oil plantations. Foreign companies have privatized the land and thus locals see little, if any benefit at all. There are those who have come to aid the Pygmies in their plight, but they are desperately in need of funding and support. Samuel Nguiffo, founder of CED (Centre pour l'Environnement et le Environnement), has been guiding the Baka and Bagyeli through this trying time and is helping them find their voice. He has trained several communities to map their land with GPS devices as a way to establish their territory and make their presence felt. As soon as they are forced to live outside of the forest, their culture will inevitably fade. The forest is their life.