“If this is all about protecting the rainforest, then, I don’t know, something has gone wrong here. Something has gone very, very badly wrong.”
Kaziranga National Park in the north east of India has a shoot on sight policy, used against poachers and villagers found inside the park. Violent evictions of communities who lived in the national park have taken place, and park rangers are accused of serious human rights violations. Kaziranga was the subject of a recent documentary by the Dutch documentary TV series, Zembla.
An investigation by the Rainforest Foundation UK has found that communities living around the Salonga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo have been subjected to torture, murder and gang-rape at the hands of eco-guards supported by WWF with funding from a range of international donors.
Messok Dja is a 1,456 square kilometre area of dense rainforest in the northwest of the Republic of Congo. For years, WWF has been working to persuade the government to establish a new Messok Dja National Park. On its website, WWF states that the forest is “highly threatened by intense elephant poaching and ivory trafficking”. Two logging companies have concessions overlapping the proposed park: a Lebanese company called SIFCO; and a Chinese company called SEFYD.
On 13 February 2019, the Supreme Court of India ordered the forced eviction of millions of forest-dwelling people. The court’s decision is the result of a case filed in 2008 by wildlife conservation organisations: Wildlife First, Nature Conservation Society, and Tiger Research and Conservation Trust.