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FORESTRY SECTOR IN KENYA SET TO IMPROVE THROUGH PARTNERSHIPS WITH STATE CORPORATIONS

By Michael Kitum

 

The forestry sector in Kenya is getting revamped with Kenya Forest Service seeking mutual beneficial tree planting partnerships with state corporations following a Presidential directive to all parastatals and state departments to put aside at least 10% of their CSR budget towards tree planting in a bid to achieve the targeted 10% forest cover by 2022. This Presidential directive was reiterated in writing to all Ministries by the Head of Public Service, Mr. Joseph Kinyua vide letter No OP/CAB/26/1/3A.

 

KFS Chairman Peter Kinyua has invited state departments and semi autonomous government agencies to work with the Service to develop tree planting partnerships that will enable the country produce the targeted 350 million plantable tree seedlings per year so as to attain the 10% tree cover by 2022. Currently KFS is only able to produce 175 million tree seedlings in its nurseries countrywide thus a need to partner and increase the number two fold.

 

“For effective implementation of the Presidential directive, Kenya Forest Service has identified key areas of collaboration, especially in indigenous tree seedling production to ensure there is adequate planting stock in each planting season,” said Mr. Peter Kinyua.

 

Parastatals that have already engaged with the Service include the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) which in its partnership will seek to increase revenue collection through areas of commercial tree growing in Kenya. Commissioner General John Njiraini noted that while Kenya has great potential to establish commercial forest plantations, it is among the highest importers of timber in the region through the border customs managed by KRA. With a progressive partnership, plans to establish tree nurseries to generate seedlings for both natural forest restoration and commercial plantation will increase Kenya’s ability to produce timber for trade and make Kenya an exporter of timber since the demand for timber in the region for construction has not been met.

 

The Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC) has committed 180,000 acres of their land to Kenya Forest Service for forestry development. In a meeting between KFS Chief Conservator of Forests Mr. Julius Kamau and ADC acting Managing Director Mr. Mohammed Bulle, ADC outlined interest in partnering with KFS in the protection of the vast woodlands in Kulalu/Galana which also harbor wildlife, natural forest conservation and promotion of commercial tree growing including fruit trees in its farms across the country. 

 

National Oil Corporation of Kenya (NOCK) is also set to partner with the Service and has pledged to work with KFS and Community Forest Associations in the establishment of tree nurseries, restoration of ecotourism sites in forests across the country and promoting the use of affordable LPG as an alternative source of clean energy as opposed to charcoal and firewood.

Academic institutions have also expressed interest in partnership with the Service; Kenyatta University and the Multimedia University of Kenya for instance which have vast land at the main campuses are looking into how a portion of their land can be put into establishment of indigenous tree nurseries and planting of urban friendly trees. KU through the School of Environment Studies will work with KFS in establishment of tree nurseries which will be supervised by KFS extension officers together with the schools’ vibrant environment club.

 

The TSC through its nationwide workforce will look into how they can mobilize teachers and public schools to ensure that students are also involved in this national course. 

 

KFS plays a pivotal role of coordinating tree planting as a state corporation established under the Forest Conservation and Management Act no 34 of 2016 with the mandate to provide for the development of sustainable management, including conservation and rational utilization of all forest resources for the socioeconomic development of the country and for connected purposes. All state corporations are invited to explore avenues of accelerating achievements of the Presidential directive.

KFS Chairman Mr. Peter Kinyua (centre) together with his KRA counterpart Amb.(Hon) Francis Muthaura (left) and Commissioner General John Njiraini in a meeting at KRA Headquarters,Nairobi.

 

KFS CCF Mr. Julius Kamau and ADC acting Managing Director Mr. Mohammed Bulle in a meeting held at ADC Headquarters,Nairobi.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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