OKANI is a community-based organisation based in the Eastern region of Cameroon established and governed by Baka peoples. It works to secure the rights of and promote sustainable livelihoods for indigenous forest peoples.
OKANI works in largely intact, biologically and culturally rich ecosystems in Cameroon which are now under imminent threat from activities such as palm oil plantations, road development, coastal development and logging.
OKANI works with 54 communities from forests in the East and South Regions of Cameroon. It plays an important role in mapping ancestral lands and using this information to advocate for changes in policy and practice to increase recognition of indigenous rights. It also campaigns on behalf of forest peoples to challenge destructive developments such as large-scale agribusiness plantations and ensure new protect areas consider indigenous peoples’ rights. It supports sustainable livelihoods and community conservation initiatives as alternatives which empower indigenous peoples and recognise their role in protecting forests and biodiversity.
Currently, OKANI also provides the secretariat for another SE partner, Gbabandi.
Synchronicity Earth has supported OKANI since 2018 for capacity building activities which ultimately aim to strengthen indigenous leadership within conservation in this culturally and biologically rich region of Cameroon.