Nature Kenya, a partner in EJOLT, has welcomed the recent decision from Kenyan authorities to cancel a large-scale biofuel plantation project in the sensitive and valuable Tana delta. Nature Kenya is working with the Office of the Prime Minister to develop a long term General Management Plan for the Tana Delta through a combination of integrated land use planning and strategic environmental assessment.The initiative brings together more than fifteen government ministries to plan for Kenya’s Deltas starting with the Tana River Delta.
Local communities who live in the Tana delta have been threatened by continued efforts to use the waters of the delta for industrial scale export-oriented agriculture in the hands of foreign firms. The decision by Kenya’s National Environment Management Authority to stop a large scale biofuel project is a breakthrough in respecting not only the local communities and their lifestyle of herding but also nature’s limits who are very fragile in the Tana Delta. The current drought and famine in the horn of Africa is severely affecting the delta and even at current use a lot of the water wells of local people are running dry. The water balance of the region does not seem to allow for large scale industrial agriculture projects of any kind. Paul Matiku, the Nature Kenya CEO, was very happy with the breakthrough decision, after years of campaigning and said that “NEMA is on the right path to sustainable development, by using science to avoid irreversible environmental, social and economic costs.” More news about this success on this and on this website.