Voor het Erasmus+ uitwisselingsproject waar we samen met Young Friends of The Earth aan meedoen, hebben wij Floor (antropologie student, 26 jaar) naar Kameroen gestuurd om onze partnerorganisatie 'Center for the Environment and Development' te bezoeken. Floor ontmoet zo verschillende jonge milieuactivisten en krijgt zo een kijkje in het werk van een milieuactivist in Kameroen. Hier alvast een kort interview met drie jonge activisten:
Stella (24) en Sharon (27) werken voor het CED project 'Greening the respect of Human Rights in the Congo Basin'.
Stella: “I was young when I obtained my masters in human rights and I did not know what I could do for society and how to support people. Working for CED is a great opportunity for me to understand the environmental problems and how to help the community with my knowledge. We bring support to communities, and NGOs or associations who need our help in forestry, land grabbing and in the mining sector, to protect community rights. If the environment is destroyed, the communities cannot live anymore and they will lose their right to health, because they use the forest for medicines. They will disappear if we do not protect the environment.”
Sharon: “Human rights obviously are tied to climate change because grabbing people’s lands and cutting down trees illegally affect the climate. You violate people’s rights but at the same time the climate change affects the people as well, double violating their rights. The main problem in Cameroon is land grabbing by agro businesses and individuals.”
Eric (30) werkt voor het 'Extractive Industries Program'.
“I monitor mining projects and make sure community rights are taken into account. I make propositions for the mining law and I discuss with enterprises how they can be more responsible. I try my best to make the enterprise work with the communities and to reduce conflicts and to make sure the mining is also profitable for the community. The big problem is that in Cameroon small scale mining is very informal and it is not regulated by the government. Mining companies do not rehabilitate the environmental damage that is done. Maybe we can work together if Dutch young people can share the information everywhere that other young people are impacted by this kind of mining.”