Human Wrongs Watch

By Irene Wabiwa-Betoko*

23 February 2015 — The chimpanzee is one of mankind’s closest relatives. However there are many of us who do not treat them with what could be called familial affection.

Source: Greenpeace

Source: Greenpeace

Chimps and other primates in Africa face an increasing number of threats to their very existence.

They are traded and eaten as bush meat, have their homes destroyed by illegal loggers, are likely to be highly affected by climate change and there are reports that their numbers suffered greatly because of Ebola.

On top of it all, they are also seeing their homes destroyed by unscrupulous agribusiness companies – many foreign-owned – who are clearing vast tracts of rainforest throughout west and central Africa to make way for plantations producing palm oil, rubber and other commodities.

New evidence from Greenpeace Africa, publicized today, reveals that several projects in Cameroon are destroying and threatening ape habitat.

Satellite images show that the Chinese-owned Hevea Sud rubber and palm oil project in the country’s South region has already resulted in over 3,000 hectares of rainforest destroyed with many thousands more to come.