June 19, 2024

Environmentalists Want Ban on Logging to Stay

Grow with us Africa managing Director Kelly Banda holding a mangrove seedling at kidundu Villagein Kilofi County (Photo by Ronald ngoba)

By Ronald Ngoba

Email, thecoastnewspaper@gmail.com

Kilifi County environmental players have supported the Environment and Land Court’s move to temporarily suspended President William Ruto’s directives to allow logging in state and community forests.

They said the decision of lifting the countrywide ban was politically reached and had already started seeing the destruction of forests in some parts of the country.

Speaking in Kidundu after planting more than 10,500 mangrove seedlings, Gro with Us Africa managing director Kelly Banda faulted the decision saying it was premature and it will jeopardize the government plans of planting 15 billion trees by 2032 as part of mitigating the effect of climate change.

“Yes, we as environmentalist we are supporting the decision made by the high court. We are also behind the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) for their stand and we are ready to partner with them. The move was reached political and it will retrogressively undermine the effort made by previous regime of protecting the environment if it not be revisited,” he said.

Lifting of the ban, according to him, has caused a lot of mixed reactions adding that the President should have consulted the environmentalists in the space of conservation before lifting it.

“I wish the President would have consult us as environmental players so that we can discuss in length before him going publicly and lifting the ban. Already there is a lot of mixed reaction because you can’t champion and at the same time doing the opposite. Its like you are taking wine and preaching at the same time.”

Gro With Us has been actively engaged in raising awareness about the importance of environmental conservation, planting of mangroves and championing climate change among other environmental awareness.

The organization has so far restored more than 500 acres, with over 2.5 million mangrove seedlings planted in Kidundu Village since its inception in 2019.

Kilifi climate change governance platform chairperson Francis Thoya urged the community to keep on planting more trees despite the decision so as to ensure the mother nature comes back to normal.

“Climate change affects everyone and we as environmental defenders we want to ensure that mother nature comes to back to its normal status, I urge people to embrace conserving and planting more trees to restore biodiversity.”

The Environment and Land Court on July 2, 2023 stops the President move to lift the six years ban on logging.

The high court further, issued conservatory orders suspending any plans by the government to re-introduce the Shamba System on government forests, pending the determination of a case filed by the Law Society of Kenya.

Banda also said that there was no public participation with the conservation experts on the directives to lift the ban.

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