So often the fate of the natural environment and the communities that live there are intimately linked. We are hearing of yet another example from Kenya. The Dakatcha woodlands are a relatively undamaged area close to the Kenyan coast. They contain an Important Bird Area (IBA) – and are recognised for the importance of their biodiversity. One of the endangered birds of the area is Clarke’s weaver.
The area forms the ancestral homeland of the Watha community – the woodlands provide them with many things including their vital water catchment.
The threat comes in the form of a massive bio-diesel project that will involve clearing the forest and replanting with a Jatropha – a crop from which the fuel is extracted.
NatureKenya (the BirdLife International partner organisation) is joining forces with community organisations – who feel their rights and views have been ignored - to fight the proposals that could cover 50,000 ha including parts of the IBA. You can read the full story here and we will follow their fight through this blog.
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Every time that I hear/read about another important area of biodiversity that is going or has gone under the bulldozer for the sake of the infernal (sic) combustion engine, my heart sinks. Why, why, why must the innocent, helpless species, not to mention he indigenous peoples, of our fragile planet have to suffer in order that the greed of homo sapiens can be satisfied. I have yet to understand how it can be worthwhile growing a crop just to feed a motor vehicle.
Unfortunately, I am not personally in a position to be able to help fight the proposal, but I am sure that, with the support of such organisations as the RSPB and international governments, then the Dakatcha woodlands may well be saved. Please add my voice to the suport that you need.
I posted a story about the threats to the Dakatcha woodlands – and I’ve just been sent some