MPs call for total ban on logging

Wednesday February 21 2018

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MPs want the government to impose a total ban on logging countrywide and revoke all existing logging licences in a bid to protect a diminishing forest cover.

Parliament’s Environment committee on Wednesday raised the alarm over increased logging in the country, warning that, if not stopped immediately, the country will not have any forest cover in the next few years.

Chairman of the committee, Kareke Mbiuki, also called on the formation of a multiagency team to undertake a holistic audit of the country’s forest cover.

“As a nation, we must take bold steps to save our forests and preserve our water towers. The unchecked logging must cease immediately,” Mr Mbiuki said at a press conference at Parliament Buildings.

“The devastating impact of climate change is increasingly being experienced through extreme weather conditions in form of recurrent droughts and increased flooding. These are closely linked to the disappearing forest cover in the country,” Mr Mbiuki said.

The lawmakers told the Environment Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko to immediately address the current challenges facing the environment.

As an immediate measure to increase forest cover, the MPs are proposing that at least 10 per cent of every land in homesteads and learning institutions be put under trees.

The lawmakers also said they will review the current Forest Act of 2016 in a bid to deter logging.

Last year, MPs passed a motion seeking to compel the government to make planting of trees mandatory in all learning institutions.

According to the World Bank, Kenya lost an average of 12,600 hectares per year of forest cover due to human settlement and illegal logging between 1990 and 2005.