25 Jan 2012

Dakatcha Woodland, Kenya

By Consuelo Sartori

Status: Important Biodiversity and Bird Area

Campaign period: 2009 and Ongoing



The Dakatcha woodland is found near the town of Malindi in the Coastal province of Kenya. Its landscape consists of a series of dry forests, dense thickets with open woodlands. To the south, the site is bordered by the wide Galana-Sabaki River.

Why it is important

Dakatcha Woodland is the only site outside Arabuko-Sokoke forest where Endangered Clarke’s Weaver bird is known to occur. It also holds substantial populations of Sokoke Pipit, and both species may breed at Dakatcha. The forest of Dakatcha Woodland stores water, protects the soil, shelters unique animals and plants, and provides environmental services and direct benefits to the local people.

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Kenya Jatropha Energy Limited intended to clear the forest of 50,000 ha to grow Jatropha curcas- the crop whose seeds produce oil that is used to make bio-diesel.


There were concerns that growing of Jatropha would lead to loss of biodiversity as a result of loss woodland habitat. In particular, the destruction of the woodland could mean a near extinction to these birds and loss of environmental services it provided.

Campaign Strategies

  • Media and lobbying campaign,
  • Engagement in EIA process Engagement with the local communities and the government,
  • Reaching out to the international community and
  • Enhancement of conservation Status of site.

Campaign outcomes

  • After intense opposition from Nature Kenya and other organisations, Kenya’s National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) officially rejected a proposal to convert 10,000 hectares of Dakatcha Woodland IBA to grow the biofuel crop Jatropha curcas.
  • Implementation of livelihoods projects followed, which resulted in among others, increased publicity of the endangered species and increased incomes from beekeeping.


Dakatcha brochure


Kenya’s National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) rejects a proposal to convert 10,000 hectares of Dakatcha Woodland IBA to grow the biofuel crop  Jatropha curcas. Read more.

Links: IBA factsheet

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