Group condemns government ban on logging

Tuesday March 13 2018

Mt Kenya Forest

A man cuts a tree inside Mt Kenya Forest on January 16, 2018. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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A forests activist group has condemned the government ban on saying it goes against the principles of forest management and utilisation.

The Kenya Forests Working Group (KFWG), a sub-committee of the East African Wild Life Society on Tuesday said instead of the ban, the government should come up with policies to stop deforestation and concern the environment.


They want the ministry of environment to develop Benefit Sharing Regulation and Operationalise Forests Conservation and Management Trust Fund instead.

National Coordinator Jackson Bambo, said the group is recommending the government to fast-track implementation of the Forest (Conservation and Management) Act 2016 that promotes operationalisation of the tree planting week to increase the current forest cover from current 7.24 percent to 10 percent minimum forest cover required by the United Nations.

They also want the government to conduct country wide surveys to identify critical water catchment forests for demarcation, titling and gazettement.

“Carry out total Economic valuation of all forest resources for planning and managements and increase financial allocation to enable Kenya Forest Service develop sustainable Forest Management Plans and carry out nationwide recruitment of foresters and forest guards to man expansive forest areas,” said Mr Bambo.

Further he said the government should carry a country wide reshuffle of forest staff and forest guards to ensure enhanced enforcement and transparency.

According to Mr Bambo, Forest Resources Management and Logging Taskforce should hold consultative forums with Communities to enrich their report.

Magistrates and judges handling forest logging and deforestation cases should also be trained on the conservation and management Act.

The government should also allocate resources to County Governments on Climate Change issues and enhance the capacity of communities on Mobile application monitoring of forest resources to cut costs on joint forest monitoring

Environment and forest Cabinet Secretary Kiriako Tobiko on Monday called for an overhaul at the Kenyan forest service.

The government has also placed a three months ban on forest logging and a taskforce to unearth forest activities commissioned.