Joannah Stutchbury Murdered for Protecting Kenya's Kiambu Forest

Permaculture Magazine
Friday, 23rd July 2021

Joannah Stutchbury has been murdered for protecting Kiambu Forest in Kenya. The Word Forest Organisation have started a petition to Kenya's President, asking for an area of the forest to be made a nationally protected, in Joannah's name.

Joannah Stutchbury, an active planet protector, was gunned down by criminals, solely because she was determined to save her beloved Kiambu Forest in Kenya from being destroyed for profit.

The petition by The Word Forest Organisation asks President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya to conserve a small area of Kiambu Forest, much loved by Joannah. The President has the power to make it a national conservation area in her name, which would allow Joannah's spirit to live on as a legacy, and send a clear message internationally that Kenya's beautiful natural hertiage is must be conserved.

"Joannah Stutchbury was a third-generation Kenyan and she lived in Kiambu, some 18km from Nairobi City Centre. She was a tree lover, a permaculture practitioner, a full-on environmentalist and conservationist, a mum, an earth mother, she had an ardent and unwavering passion for the planet, she was an earth protector, wonderfully bonkers, full of life and joie de vivre. Her vibrant light has been stolen, ripped away from a world that so desperately needed her and there’s a Joannah shaped hole in the Universe." Word Forest Organisation

She was shot four times on Thursday 15th July 2021 at her home in Kenya.

Bena, Joannah's friend, writes 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...

"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."

The lives of active planet protectors is never easy, and Joannah's life is an example of the dangers people face when trying to protect our beautiful planet.

The petition from Bena and charity, The Word Forest Organisation, needs all nature lovers, permaculture people and earth protectors to sign the petition.

The team are striving for 1,000,000 signatures, a difficult feat but, as Tracey West from the charity says, "So is mitigating climate chaos and I'm not backing down from that either!"

"One million signatures would represent a million people who also care about the good health and wellbeing of our planet, the essential wildlife that inhabits the forest and the critical role trees in the tropics play in keeping us well as human beings but also in mitigating climate chaos. We believe the more trees there are in Kenya, the more chance we have of bringing the normal rains back to Kenya and reducing the extreme weather events that are claiming lives all over our planet," says Tracey West.

The documentary, #TreesAreTheKey shows how trees are integral to solving so much more than climate chaos - they are the lungs for each and every one of us, worldwide! Without them, the consequences just don't bear thinking about. We need a mature stock of trees all over the world, but most especially in the tropical zones!

Please help raise awareness to Joannah's story, which is the story of many climate activists and earth protectors.

For more details on the documentary visit: