6 Oct 2010

Delta blues lift slightly - by Andre Farrar (RSPB - BirdLife in the UK)

The Tana River Delta on Kenya’s coast is at cross-roads. The massive pressure to exploit the area for growing sugar and biofuel crops amongst other development pressure is forcing an intense campaign to ensure that the delta’s peerless natural environment. For biofuels in particular, the pressure on land is mounting in Africa and European governments, including our own are not able to identify good sources from bad - a fundemental flaw in policy that risks a wave of damaging landuse change. There is little doubt that the natural richness of the area is outstanding, local communities alongside Nature Kenya (BirdLife Partner / with support from the RSPB) want to see necessary development in the area planned to ensure that the cost of smash and grab development isn’t measured in the inevitable loss of one of the world’s most important places for nature. It’s not about no development – it’s about the right development shaped and led by the best information and with local communities at the heart of the process. So it’s encouraging to hear that there are now steps to develop a plan for sustainable development for the delta. The devil, as always, will be in the detail and there is a tough struggle ahead for Nature Kenya’s campaign to ensure that the master plan does the job effectively and ends the era of bad planning and short-termism that has dogged the delta for years. By Andre Farrar (RSPB – BirdLife in the UK). To read more blogs by Andre, please click here.