You may remember that back in 2021 we shared an article written by our CEO Tracey West about the shocking and brutal murder of her friend, the Kenyan environmental activist Joannah Stutchbury. Joannah had spent years protecting the beautiful and precious Kiambu Forest, speaking out with passion and determination against land-grabbers and well-known private developers who had begun to destroy the forest right next to where she lived. She even hit the headlines in 2018 when she single-handedly confronted the people who were felling trees, sitting defiantly inside the massive metal bucket of a huge mechanical digger as she phoned supportive friends in rage and panic, pleading for them to get the media and other supporters there to stop it.
She had received multiple death threats as a result of her activism and sadly paid the ultimate price for her love of the planet and her determination to do what was right.
Now, a shocking report from Global Witness shows that in 2021, she was just one of 200 activists killed for trying to protect land and the environment from destructive forces.
In one year.
For standing up for our planet.
Sadly, this number is not unusual in recent years. This report does not make easy reading but it does honour those brave individuals who put themselves in harm’s way to protect the environment from abuse, recognising their efforts and sacrifice and pointing a way forward for positive governmental action across the world.
You can see the report, which includes Tracey’s tribute to Joannah, here:
Global Witness – Decade of defiance; ten years of reporting land and environmental activism worldwide