KOUNGOULOU - Europe’s growing demand for natural rubber to produce tyres has been destroying West Africa’s rainforests for large-scale industrial rubber plantations. In Cameroon, rubber conglomerate Halcyon Agri, which also sells rubber to the European Union (EU), has cleared at least 127 km2 of primary rainforest. The rubber market is growing steadily and is expected to exceed $50 billion by 2027.

Can a new EU law protect Cameroon’s rainforest from deforestation?

The company’s rubber plantation threatens the Dja Faunal Reserve, which hosts endangered species such as forest elephants, chimpanzees and lowland gorillas. Indigenous Baka communities were expelled from their forest, their holy sites destroyed, and an age-old way of life eradicated without compensation.

Will a brand-new EU law banning the import of commodities from deforestation or violating human rights make a difference? This investigation shows how dirty rubber from Cameroon ends up in our tires. In covering the story, the journalists speak to Baka communities who have been forcibly moved from their land, with environmentalists, rubber traders, car tyre manufacturers in Europe, and government and EU officials. The team also examines company structures and analyses satellite images that show primary forest destruction.

Team members

Nathalie Bertrams

Nathalie Bertrams is a German award-winning freelance photographer and journalist.

Nathalie Bertrams

Ingrid Gercama

Ingrid Gercama is a freelance journalist, based in the Netherlands.

Ingrid Gercama

Dr. Tristen Taylor

Dr. Tristen Taylor is a South African freelance journalist.

Dr. Tristen Taylor

Arison Tamfu

Arison Tamfu is a multi award-winning journalist based in Cameroon.

Arison Tamfu
€19.150 allocated on 30/11/2022



  • How Europe’s Greed For Rubber Destroys Cameroon’s Rainforest, Threatens Livelihood Of Indigenous Forest Dwellers, Eco-Outlook, Cameroon, 24/07/2023
  • How Europe’s greed for rubber destroys Cameroon’s rainforest, threatens livelihood of indigenous forest dwellers, NewsWatch Cameroon, 24/07/2023

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