alexa Government extends logging freeze by one year - Daily Nation

Government extends logging freeze by one year

Thursday November 21 2019

Mt Kenya Forest

A man fells a tree inside Mt Kenya Forest on January 16, 2018. The government has extended the ban on logging by 12 months. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

NICHOLAS KOMU
By NICHOLAS KOMU
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Logging in community and public forests has been extended by a further 12 months.

The current ban was to end on November 24, 2019.

Environment Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko said the government will map and take stock of the acreage of public forest plantations in the country.

PUBLIC OUTCRY

“A multi-agency team will be constituted to among others, undertake an independent mapping, verification and valuation of all mature and over mature forest plantations and submit its report to government within four months,” the environment CS said in his statement.

The current ban was imposed last year following a public outcry on excessive logging in public forests. 

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The ban which was initially supposed to last three months was to allow for an audit of the Kenya Forest Service management of forests.

However, following revelations of corrupt dealings and illegal logging by state officers, the government further extended the logging ban.

The ban elicited harsh criticism from saw millers who lamented that the moratorium had crippled their businesses.

The government then moved to lift the ban on privately owned commercial forests in a bid to allow the timber industry to continue running.

The latest ban comes at a time the Kenya Forest Service and Environment ministry is running a tree planting campaign in a bid to raise the country’s tree cover to ten percent.