Declaration of the Informal Alliance against Industrial Plantations in West and Central Africa

by Informal Alliance against Industrial Plantations in West and Central Africa | 9 Aug 2022


From 22 to 29 May 2022 in Aboisso, Côte d'Ivoire, we – community members, activists, and land and human rights defenders from West and Central Africa-- gathered for a meeting of an informal alliance formed to fight against industrial monocultures where we discussed the impacts of plantations on people's daily lives.

The objective of the gathering was for those involved in these struggles and for those who support them to understand the innovative strategies that corporations use to grab the lands of communities. The gathering was also an opportunity for us to evaluate the impacts of COVID 19 on our struggles and to share information and strategies to stop the expansion of monoculture plantations in Africa.

During the gathering, community leaders and activists from across Central and West Africa shared vivid testimonies about the various violations taking place in their communities, leading to the following decisions by the Alliance members:
- We will boycott the RSPO by ceasing all links between our organisations and this certification body
- We will promote food sovereignty in all our territories
- We will fight against the expansion of oil palm plantations
- We will recover the lands taken from communities by multinational corporations and governments

These decisions are based on the experiences of the citizens and populations living around and in the areas of monoculture plantations. Today it is very clear that these populations are experiencing enormous difficulties in meeting their primary food needs because land is increasingly scarce and has been seized for the monoculture plantations of agro-industrial companies.

Women, girls and children in these plantation areas experience the most profound injustices and inequalities. Their dignity is undermined and they face daily exploitation.

Women workers on these plantations are silently subjected to the most extreme humiliations, from impossible palm nut collection quotas to demands for sexual favours by company security guards who accuse them of stealing fallen palm fruits.

We demand an end to the moral torture of our daughters and sisters!

We stand in solidarity with those communities struggling for their lands and natural resources, to whom promises are always made but never kept!

We stand in solidarity with those communities that are intimidated every day by agribusiness companies and we stand in solidarity against the divisive strategies used by these companies!

Countries in Central Africa, West Africa and around the world are suffering the same abuses and harassment.

We will break the silence and denounce all the various forms of land, water, forest and other natural resource grabbing and the violations suffered and experienced around agro-industrial plantations, and we will continue to encourage the creation and mobilisation of collectives and groups to stop these abuses and speak with one voice against them.

These lands are ours; we must preserve and defend them!

Our lands, the future of our children!
Our lands, our offices!
Give us back our land!

Aboisso, 29 May 2022

Alliance members:
Réseau des Acteurs du Développement Durable (RADD) - Cameroon
Struggle to Economize our Future Environment (SEFE) - Cameroon
Synergie Nationale des Paysans et Riverains du Cameroun (SYNAPARCAM) – Cameroon
Centre des Droits de l'Homme et du Développement (CDHD) – Congo-Brazzaville
Concertation Nationale des Organisations Paysannes et des Producteurs Agricoles du Congo (CNOP)- Congo-Brazzaville
Jeunes Volontaires pour l'Environnement (JVE) – Côte d'Ivoire
Réseau des Femmes Braves (REFEB) – Côte d'Ivoire
Confédération Paysanne du Congo – DR Congo
Réseau d'information et d'appui aux ONG (RIAO-RDC) - DR Congo
MUYISSI-Environment – Gabon
Young Volunteeers for the Environment (YVE) – Ghana
Natural Resource Women's Platform – Liberia
Joegbahn Land Protection Organization – Liberia
ERA/Community Forest Watch – Nigeria
Women’s Network Against Rural Plantations Injustice (WONARPI)– Sierra Leone
Malen Land Owners' Alliance (MALOA) – Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone Network on the Right to Food (SiLNoRF) – Sierra Leone
Bujumba Sustainability Development Association (BUSDA) – Uganda
GRAIN – International
WRM – International
Author: Informal Alliance against Industrial Plantations in West and Central Africa