The government of Kenya plans to level more than 170,000 acres of forest, much to the dismay of environmentalists, who say the logging is politically motivated and would be an ecological disaster. Although green organizations have gathered signatures and initiated legal actions, the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources is forging ahead with the plan, saying the land is needed to provide homes for squatters. Three-quarters of Kenya’s forests have been lost to heavy logging over the last 150 years, leaving only 2 percent of the country forested today. Environmentalists say the remaining trees provide a moisture catchment critical to sustaining Kenya’s agricultural industry. Elsewhere on the African continent, residents of Nigeria’s oil-rich Niger Delta want the government to take oil companies to task for the region’s environmental degradation.

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