The WWF may have a friendly panda for a logo, but amongst the poorest of the poor it’s known for something else: violent thugs called ecoguards.
Last week, an appalling complaint was filed against the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) by Survival International, an organization that champions the human rights of indigenous people. Invoking a process normally used against multinational corporations, the complaint accuses the WWF of abusing and victimizing rain forest dwellers in Cameroon.
Located on Africa’s west coast, Cameroon is about the size of California. Approximately half of its 23 million people lack basic sanitation, so the risk of contracting waterborne diseases there is high. Life expectancy is 57 years, amongst the shortest in the world. Per capita GDP in the European Union is $37,800. In Cameroon it’s $3,200. During the past few years, Cameroon’s government has had its hands full responding to Boko Harem terrorist attacks near the border it shares with northern neighbour, Nigeria. But fundamental rights and freedoms were fragile well before that.