PRESS RELEASE: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tribunal Halts Activities at Amboseli Avocado Farm
Nairobi, March 24, 2021: WildlifeDirect welcomes a ruling at the National Environmental Tribunal yesterday that ordered all activity to stop at a new avocado farm sited in key wildlife and livestock habitat near Amboseli National Park.
The National Environment Tribunal (NET) ruling on March 23, 2021, ordered work to stop until the next substantive hearing in this case on March 31, 2021.
Masai landowners whose land surrounds the farm are leading opposition to the development, which they argue endangers their livestock grazing and movement. The amount of water abstracted for irrigation by the KiliAvo farm will destroy downstream water springs that migrating wildlife and local Maasai communities depend on.
Reliable scientific evaluations find that the farm will endanger critically habitat for elephants, lions, cheetahs, giraffes, zebras, gazelles and wildebeest, and interfere with corridors for species migrating between Amboseli, Chyulu Hills and the greater Tsavo Ecosystem.
Conservationists through Conservation Alliance of Kenya (CAK) submitted an application for a Stop Order in the KiliAvo case in which the court ordered;-
- That all activity ceases on the property for 7 days until we have a full hearing of the application on Wednesday next week.
- That Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) be enjoined as an intervening party to assist the tribunal to make a decision.
- That KWS files a report identifying the Kimana corridor and whether the KiliAvo property actually lies within such a corridor.
This comes in three weeks after the Court had dismissed the case in which WildlifeDirect CEO, Dr. Paula Kahumbu, was sued by KiliAvo Fresh Limited and others, for alleged contempt of court based on personal remarks on social media about planting avocados in a fragile ecosystem considered to be a migratory corridor for elephants and other wildlife.
We want to call on media to be vigilant to ensure no more activity is taking place as per the ruling and should this not happen, they should be ready to bring this to the attention of the public.
“It is our prayer that Kili Avo will adopt President Uhuru Kenyatta’s commitment to the world on sustainable development made at the Leaders Pledge for Nature at the United Nations Governing Assembly last year. The beauty of Avocado farming is that it can be environmentally sustainable and profitable. If they move their farming activities to outside of the corridor, they can save elephants while doing good business. It could be a win-win for wildlife, people and climate, and a great example to Africa and the world,” stated Dr. Paula Kahumbu
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WildlifeDirect is a Kenyan based conservation organization that has transformed anti-poaching results in Kenya through the award-winning conservation campaign “Hands Off Our Elephants” and the production of Africa wildlife documentaries. The vision of WildlifeDirect is changing hearts and minds and laws to ensure that Africa’s critical species endure forever. WildlifeDirect produces wildlife documentary series’ as part of its mission to connect people to their wildlife and nature and inspire them to treasure it and act to conserve it.