According to Survival International, the payments, detailed in the funding agreement signed between the EU and the WWF (which led to the creation of the Messok Dja protected area) have led to the beatings, torture and sexual assault of local Baka people
. To quote one local Baka: "Our forest is now closed off to us.
Each musician brings their own influence and talent to the music creating a unique spectacle and honouring a lesson learned from the Baka people
, "everyone is to be listened to".
In Bolozo, there are significant conflicts between the Bantu and the Baka people
, leading to the division of the village into two areas, separated by a 5-km forest track.
Leonie Ndo Mvondo, head of the Kagnol health care center since 2012, noted that raising awareness among the Baka people
regarding the importance of medical care and follow-up visits is one of the main concerns of the center.
In 1999, he flew to the Central African Republic, traveled under military escort by Jeep, then canoed down the Ubangi River to the village of Mougoumba to meet the Baka people
(Pygmies) whose music and dance he'd researched extensively.
The students, part of a Newcastle University expedition team, were working to produce interactive maps showing the forest activities of the indigenous Baka people
for use in the fight for fairer land access rights.
Martin Cradick, who created the Global Music Exchange charity to help the Baka people
fight for their survival, said: "It seems a travesty that the Baka, one of the few remaining peoples living a truly ancient life, in touch with nature and their planet which they revere, are being squeezed out of their ancient forests and denied their lifestyle.
Also playing in the evening will be members of the extraordinary group Baka Beyond, whose music is inspired by the Baka people
of Cameroon and mixes African and European sounds.
The Baka people
, the pygmies of Cameroon, are threatened by the imminent demise of their forests.
While celebrated tourist resorts and blue-chip mining and logging companies dot their land, the Maasai, Batwa, Bagyeli and Baka people
of the Rift Valley in East Africa and the Congo Basin in Central Africa remain extremely poor, sometimes without even their most basic human needs being satisfied.