The Bayaka, Indigenous Peoples commonly referred to as pygmies, are in danger of losing their identity and their home, the forests of the Congo Basin. Deforestation caused by mining and logging concessions are at the centre of this ecological and human tragedy.
National laws offer very few rights for Central Africa’s forest people, and even lands that have been occupied by them for many generations can be taken away at will, and handed over to companies to exploit for their timber.
Maps of the Congo Basin often make it appear empty of human settlement, giving rise to the erroneous belief that these lands are an unoccupied ‘wilderness’ available for others to use.
As they are semi-nomadic people, local authorities are not able to track their existence, so the Bayaka use GPS systems to create their own maps and become visible. These Maps are also a good tool to show the resources they depend on.
Their mission is also to protect the second lung of the world. They can play a vital role in climate regulation.