This blog is where you can read about the places we work to protect and the people on the front line. The scope of this blog covers planning, the policies and legal framework that exists to protect the best places for wildlife and of, of course, the individual cases that are the daily work of staff across the UK. We help BirdLife International partners overseas – and you will be able to read contributions from Europe and further afield.
Of course – probably of the best way to save a site is to a acquire it as a nature reserve – this blog will sometimes feature our reserves and the role they play in future of our wildlife, but the full story of the RSPBs network of nature reserves is told elsewhere: http://www.rspb.org.uk/reserves
This blog features the contributions of many individuals – I will have the pleasure of holding the ring and acting as the narrator to this compelling story. So a little about me; I’m Andre Farrar and my first active involvement with the RSPB was in the late 1970s as a volunteer with our Leeds Local Group http://www.rspb.org.uk/groups/leeds.
I was one of many who wrote to their MPs as part of the campaign to get the best outcome for what became the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981). It wasn’t perfect but it was a good start. Thirty years on, I’m still in the thick of it campaigning for our protected areas and special places for wildlife. Are we winning? Read on and find out, and see how you can help.
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.