Sally Ojah Okie, Saving Bomboko’s Rainforest

Sally Ojah Okie is a 28 year old legal, environmental and human rights activist in Limbe, Cameroon who is working to preserve Cameroon’s indigenous cultures. She is spearheading a project to protect 735 hectares of rainforest surrounding Bomboko village from development for palm-oil plantations.

In the 18th century, the area around Bomboko was largely depopulated by the slave trade and much of the local forest was cut down for German-owned rubber plantations. Today, the 735 hectares of forest remaining provides residents of Bomboko with a variety of important resources such as timber, fish and wildlife, and even employment thanks to ecotourism.

Unfortunately, more than 150 hectares of forest have recently been slated for deforestation and development by the Cameroon Development Corporation.

Working together with local leaders, Sally is helping residents of Bomboko save the Bomboko rainforest from development. Over the next few moths Sally will organize public outreach on the importance of preserving Bomboko’s forests, while planning protests and direct action initiatives.

After obtaining a legal injunction against the CDC Sally will work with representatives from the Ministry of Forest and Wildlife to document Bomboko’s biodiversity and create a comprehensive management plan for forest resources.

GRANT AWARD DATE: October 26, 2015