Welcome to the Marine Mammal and wildlife Research and Community Development Expedition blog where you can keep up to date with all the happenings and information from Kenya

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Friends Of Shimoni Forest Spread Their Message To The Minister Of Forests And Wildlife

Yesterday I sat down for a chat with Athumani Fadhili Ali, the secretary of Friends of Shimoni Forest (FSF), and some absolutely incredible and momentous news was revealed to me! He had spent the last five hours in discussions with the Permanent Secretary to the Minister of Forests and Wildlife, concerning the plight of Shimoni forest!

I was speechless and massively excited, because as it turns out, the Permanent Secretary had come all the way down to Shimoni specifically to talk to Athumani about the issues concerning the communities, and community conservation, of which the forest is a major part.

Athumani had described to him all of the damage being done in the forest, and the alarming rate at which it is happening. He talked about the issues of illegal loggers and their power saws, the charcoal burning, and the huge development occurring on the coastal plots. He also discussed the efforts of Friends of Shimoni Forest and other community members, who are doing their best to raise awareness amongst the communities, and halt the irreversible damage being done.

The Permanent Secretary was shocked and concerned by what he heard, and offered to raise the issue with the relevant authorities, and even the Minister himself! This is such an incredible turn out, and we couldn’t really have asked for a better audience to discuss these issues with, and the assistance he could provide could potentially change the tides of this ongoing battle.

What the Permanent Secretary asked for ASAP, were all of the reports that FSF and GVI have ever written and submitted, so he could get a better understanding of the issues and have some hard data with which to argue our case.

We are rushing to compile all of this information and get it to Athumani, so he can pass it on. We’re all very excited by this, and we will let you know as soon as we hear anything! Keep your fingers crossed for us!

To help support Friends of Shimoni Forest and the work they are doing, please visit www.justgiving/shimoni