Few people on earth have as close a relationship to the forest as Congo Basin tribes. Yet they are facing human rights abuses in the name of conservation.
For them the creation of protected areas has brought violence, hunger and plummeting health. The anti-poaching squads, funded and equipped by big conservation organizations (like WWF and WCS), subject them to harassment, beatings, torture and even death.
They are accused of “poaching” when they hunt to feed their families or even set foot on their ancestral land inside protected areas, while logging and trophy hunting are celebrated as forms of conservation.
Physical violence is just one part of the abuse. Rangers steal their food and burn their camps and tools, spreading terror among tribal people. They do not feel free to move and live in their ancestral land.
This abuse is not just illegal: it’s harming conservation. Targeting tribal people diverts action away from tackling logging and corruption: the true causes of forest destruction and poaching. Not just this: conservation is alienating the best conservationists.
For years Survival has been campaigning to stop abuse of Congo Basin tribes and to save their forests. Now we need your help. Together we can change this damaging model of conservation so that it respects tribal peoples’ rights: for tribes, for nature, for all humanity.
Tribal Voice, ‘They started beating everyone’
Tribal Voice, ‘We can’t stand this’
Tribal Voice, ‘They beat me and torched my home’
Tribal Voice, ‘I was whipped 45 times’
What do others say?
The Guardian, John Vidal, ‘The tribes paying the brutal price of conservation’
Open Democracy, Gordon Bennett, ‘WWF, the Baka and the importance of due diligence’
The New Yorker, Jeffrey Goldberg, ‘The hunted. Did American conservationists in Africa go too far?’
Learn more about Congo Basin tribes
Act now to help Congo Basin tribes
Urge WWF to stop backing a new park in Congo.
It’s time to decolonize conservation.
Join the mailing list
More than one hundred and fifty million men, women and children in over sixty countries live in tribal societies. Find out more about them and the struggles they’re facing: sign up to our mailing list for occasional updates.
News from Congo Basin tribes
EXPOSED: WWF execs KNEW they were funding rights abuses in Africa, but kept report under wraps
Buzzfeed investigation reveals that WWF board knew of atrocities committed by rangers it funds, but kept the information secret.
Germany freezes funding to WWF following human rights abuse in Congo
The German government has frozen funding to WWF following investigations by Buzzfeed revealing the charity’s involvement in human rights abuses.
WWF cover-up of rangers’ rapes, murder, revealed in new Buzzfeed News investigation
WWF-backed rangers gang-raped pregnant women, murdered one villager and tortured others in the Congo
Buzzfeed report exposes abuses on global scale by WWF-funded guards
An investigation by news site Buzzfeed exposes violent abuse by ecoguards and rangers funded by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
Conservation giants implicated in public health crises among "Pygmies"
Recent epidemic draws attention to brutal conservation policies.
Uganda: Batwa “Pygmy” imprisoned for hunting now released
A Batwa man has served his sentence for hunting an antelope and describes his ordeal behind bars.