Pygmies march on the World Bank

18 10 2007

Pygmies negotiate their situation with World Bank Chief

The rumble of giant machinery heralds the arrival of loggers deep in the heart of the Congo rainforest. For the pygmy tribes which have inhabited this thick jungle for millennia, the sound of the advancing column is the sound of encroaching hunger and the loss of a way of life stretching back hundreds of generations. “They bring with them huge machines which go deep into the forest and make noise which frightens all the game animals away,” says Adrian Sinafasi, the man seeking to alert the outside world to the plight of central Africa’s pygmies. “When the loggers arrive, they bring with them many workers who are needed to fell the trees. They also need to eat and start hunting but, rather than use traditional weapons in the right season, they hunt with firearms and don’t care about seasons or how much food they take.”

Mr Sinafasi, who was displaced from his ancestral home in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, is leading a delegation of pygmies to meet the new head of the World Bank in Washington this week. He hopes the talks could lead to deal to safeguard the world’s second-largest rainforest. There is mounting optimism that when the representatives of some of Africa’s most remote tribes arrive in the US capital today, they can capitalise on international outrage over the bank’s plan to turn 60,000 sq km of pristine forest over to European logging companies. Forty million people in the Congo depend on the rainforests for survival. Among them are up to 600,000 pygmies who are engaged in a David and Goliath battle over plans to allow millions of hardwood trees to be felled, many to make garden furniture and flooring for European homes.


Advertisements

Actions

Information

One response

8 10 2008
Obama on Peace Corps « Muriella’s Corner

[…] was seen in 2007, where a pygmy chief from the forests in the Central African Republic and his posse descended on the World Bank to make a claim for people to stop cutting down the trees in his habitat.  Indigenous populations […]

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: