Baka. Guardians of the Forest

This project exposes the challenges of the Baka People in Cameroon as they are loosing their own land and indentity threatened by transnational companies.

The Baka, indigenous peoples of Cameroon, are facing a serious departure from their traditional way of life due to the increasingly sedentary lifestyle that has been forced upon them for years. They were expelled from their ancestral lands, which have been turned into protected areas of the Dja Faunal Reserve and into concessions granted to transnational companies that exploit natural resources such as gold, iron and wood. However, the Baka People see themselves as the guardians of the forest.

The economic development policies of the Cameroon government have focused on mining, wood and extensive agriculture of monocrops such as oil palm and rubber, causing the progressive disappearance of the rainforest. This has all triggered an accelerated loss of the collective identity of the Baka community, which is driving them toward alcoholism, malnutrition and the proliferation of diseases like HIV and AIDS.

Profoundly disoriented, settled at the gateof the rainforest, the Baka people are deprived of the fundamental right to property of their own land, as recognized by the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2007.

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