Earthwatch, the international environmental charity, has decided to resume its research operations in Kenya as of April 1st 2008.
Earthwatch operate scientific field research projects in the Tsavo, Watamu, Nanyuki, the Kwali district and the Samburu-Laikipia region and has been active in Kenya for 26 years. Each project provides local communities with critical environmental knowledge to help them tackle the negative impacts of climate change and implement workable conservation plans.
Earthwatch projects rely on the support and financial contribution of international volunteers who give their time to assist scientists in the field. This ‘citizen science' model helps to create strong and lasting cross-cultural relationships while also feeding the local economy and providing employment opportunities for Kenyan research and support staff.
"Earthwatch has closely monitored the region since the disputed December election, and carefully deliberated this decision to resume research activities and invite volunteers to return," explains Kenyan born Nigel Winser, Executive Director of Earthwatch (Europe). "We were greatly saddened by the recent turn of events and remain committed to supporting our colleagues and partners as the situation improves."
Dr. Nick Oguge, Earthwatch Field Director in Kenya continues, "The recovery of the country is dependent on support from the international community. In resuming research operations Earthwatch hopes to help Kenya get back on her feet after this traumatic episode."
Earthwatch made this decision upon confirming the news that the political situation has stabilized considerably in recent weeks. Negotiations led by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan brought President Mwai Kibaki and Orange Democratic Movement Party leader Raila Odinga to the table, making significant progress toward establishing a coalition government, as well as a timeline for a new constitution and new elections.
"Safety is our primary concern and we will continue to monitor the situation and respond immediately to any further developments," concludes Winser.
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