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Brainforest

Organisations campaigning on human rights issues, like rainforest destruction, face any number of difficulties in Gabon.

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Brainforest
Country: Gabon
Who it helps: Indigenous Communities
How it helps: advocacy
RFUK project: Forest policy monitoring and lobbying
Contact: Marc Ona

Organisations campaigning on human rights issues, like rainforest destruction, face any number of difficulties in Gabon.

In January the government decided to suspend the activities of 20 Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) because it claimed they were acting outside of their mandate by getting involved in politics.

More recently Marc Ona Essangui, president of Gabonese organisation Brainforest, was barred from leaving Gabonese territory the same day that he was due in New York to attend a conference

But, as Cath Long, former Programme Director for Rainforest Foundation UK, said, "In a climate of fear and intimidation, Brainforest is one of the few Gabonese NGOs with the courage to speak out on corruption and abuse by big business and government."

Brainforest not only stood up against the government ban on political NGOs, it got French loggers Rougier to withdraw from its concession next to the Kongou Falls in the Ivindo national park, considered to be one of the finest in Africa. More recently, it has persuaded the government to review a $3billion contract with a Chinese iron ore company that would have led to the construction of a hydro-electric dam at the falls. 

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