You may have seen on our website last week the news of the horrific murder of Kenyan environmentalist Joannah Stutchbury, who appears to have been targeted for that very reason – being an environmentalist. Needless to say, it has shocked us all to the core (read our recent article: Another Murdered Environmentalist, here).
Joannah was a great contributor at the first Clear The Air: Reforest Kenya Conference we hosted in Kenya in 2018. She has also been a passionate ambassador for our planet and advocate for conservation of biodiversity, wildlife and the environment for many years. She worked tirelessly to protect Kiambu Forest – it seems she has paid the ultimate price.
Her friend, Bena Stutchbury, posted this moving tribute:
My beautiful friend, Joannah Stutchbury, has been murdered – I can’t believe it – Nature will seek revenge for the killing of this beautiful soul. She will live on in the forest that she protected and when the leaves dance in the breeze, we will hear her voice whispering her love for the trees around her. God rest her soul – no, Nature, rest her soul.
Bena has written an open letter to President Kenyatta of Kenya to ask for conservation of Kiambu Forest in Joannah’s name. Click here to add your name to the petition and please share on your networks – thank you.
Letter to the President of Kenya.
I am deeply disturbed by the violent and senseless murder of my friend, Joannah Stutchbury, a lone, defenceless 64-year-old woman, who was gunned down by criminals, solely because of her determination to fight to save her beloved Kiambu forest in Kenya.
Although we never met in person, Joannah and I have been friends on the internet since discovering that not only do we share the same unusual surname, but we both love nature.
In tirelessly campaigning, Joannah was only trying to prevent her beloved forest from being sacrificed in the name of profit. As you are also a horticulturist, I know you understand how the balance of nature is paramount for a healthy environment and thus the health of your nation.
Please would you consider conserving a small area of Kiambu Forest that Joannah loved so much. You have the power to make it a national conservation area in her name. This would allow her vibrant spirit to live on as a legacy and would send a loud and clear message internationally that you also wish to conserve Kenya’s beautiful yet endangered natural heritage.
It might also bring a small measure of healing to her friends and family who are mourning a senseless loss of a wonderful life.
It would be a beautiful and fitting memorial to Joannah and a small ask to preserve her beloved forest.
Please add your voice to this request, sign this petition and share it on your social media platforms and blogs.
Thank you so much.