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Kenyan Forests Endangered by European Biofuel Crops, Local Protesters Say

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Cutting down forests for the sake of planting zero-carbon biofuel crops is like fighting for peace – war will generate even more war. Kenya’s Dakatcha Woodlands seems to face such an issue, since European companies seeking to harvest biofuel crops want to destroy the forest.

This has created quite a stir among campaigners from ActionAid and Nature Kenya, who called for the European biofuel plans to be stopped, as deforestation would rise those crops’ carbon footprint up to six times more than that of petrol. The measure would also affect some 20,000 locals who depend on the forestland. Let’s not talk about the wildlife, greatly endangered.

Besides the fact that this is the stupidest project I have ever heard of, it’s done in the name of “clean fuel.” European states aim to use a 10% biofuel blend for diesel engines. Currently, in the UK, the blend is only 3.5%.

Let’s not do this, ok? The jawdropping measures taken to protect our precious atmosphere must really protect it, fully, not just for the eyes of the people or the press. Oil companies have to get green not only in their advertising campaigns, but also in true life. Let’s not bury the bone in someone else’s backyard… once again.

Has everybody already forgotten Michael Jackson’s Earth Song? I guess some of us will have to remember it…

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1 COMMENT

  1. I agree that companies deforesting land to plant bio-fuel is a bad idea environmentally and socially, however, I am also amazed that many conservation organization’s use these situations to protest valid projects.

    I do not know if they are intentionally spreading misinformation to push an agenda or are just to spread thin or lazy to check facts.

    A good example is two large scale Jatropha projects in Kenya, one company is clearing out forests to plant and another is using deforested marginal & semi marginal land.

    The main key to a recent Yale report was prior land use:

    1. If the crop is planted on land that was already cleared or degraded, then additional carbon is stored and emissions reductions can exceed the 60 percent baseline.

    Example, Tana Delta Jatropha Project

    2. If Jatropha is planted on land previously covered in forest, shrubs or native grasses, benefits may disappear altogether.

    Example, Dakatcha Woodlands Jatropha Project.

    Opponents as well as proponents need to understand the context of the situation when discussing the facts of biofuel production.

    Thank you for listening.

    (www.worldagroforestry.org/downloads/publications/…/B16599.PDF)

    http://www.hardmanandco.com/…/Jatropha%20Sector%20Report%20(Final).pdf

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/04/11/idUS165579253420110411

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