Conservation Alliance of Kenya (CAK) condemns and request National Management Environment Authority (NEMA) to revoke the license of an Agri business by KiliAvo to have an avocado farm on 150 acres of land within an important elephant corridor in Amboseli. Further the process of issuing the license be thoroughly investigated and those violating laws be charged for illegally destroying habitats suitable for wildlife.
NEMA approved an agri-business development proposal by KiliAvo to clear over 150 acres to grow avocados within a critical elephant migratory corridor connecting elephant populations between Amboseli National Park (ANP) through Kimana Elephant Sanctuary with Tsavo West National Park and Mkomazi National Reserve in Tanzania. The proposal had been rejected by NEMA in December 2019.
This plan sets a horrendous precedent that threatens to completely close the elephant connectivity of the entire Amboseli ecosystem with Tsavo West National Park and Mkomzai National Reserve in Tanzania. The decision further violates the gazetted land use management plan for the Amboseli ecosystem, ignores the recommendations of the national wildlife migratory corridors report and will increase human elephant conflict.
ANP is very fragile and home to several endangered wild animal species as well as globally important wildlife populations. Agri business in the wildlife migratory corridor jeopardizes the social and economic benefits of the communities that gave their land to sustain wildlife movement and ecosystem connectivity, and who together with partners have been pursuing eco-tourism investors.
The proposed agri-business development is going ahead despite the written objections from the local communities and stakeholders submitted to NEMA. Furthermore, the success of wildlife conservation in Amboseli ecosystem is hugely dependent on compatible land uses rather than conflicting options. Space for wildlife is rapidly shrinking due to human encroachment contributing to decline of wildlife species including the endangered and threatened species. This is a direct threat to the national wildlife economy and farms in the middle of community conservancies threaten the survival and livelihoods of the communities.
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NOTE TO EDITOR
The CAK is an umbrella body with a membership of over 50 conservation NGOs collectively working to advance the protection and management of biodiversity in Kenya. By putting their expertise into resolving matters to do with land use, national wildlife security, promoting strategic conservation with wise development and representing the country at conventions the Alliance aims to collectively be at the forefront of setting the national agenda in collaboration with the government of Kenya.