In the recent past, KFS has noted with concern heightened cutting of trees on the farms. This is also affecting public and community forests where we have observed escalated illegal cutting of trees for timber and charcoal production. To address this challenge, the Service has intensified highway and road patrols to enforce the Forest Laws and Regulations including use of movement permits.
As we implement the Moratorium on Logging in public and community forests, the harvesting of trees is only allowed in private farms. But people have taken advantage of this window to even illegally cut trees from public and community forests and purporting to have obtained them from private farms. The movement permit is the instrument that has been provided by the law to regulate the transportation of forest produce from one point to another.
Section 71 of the Forest Conservation and Management Act 2016 gives powers to the Service to regulate the felling, working and removal of forest produce in areas where trees may be felled or removed.
The Forest Harvesting Rules 2009 Section 11(1) states that a person shall not transport forest produce without a valid licence for produce from State forests or community forests, and, in the case of produce from private land, a proof of origin issued by the owner of the forest from which the timber was felled, and, the proof of payment of the prescribed fee.
The movement permit is issued by the County Ecosystem Conservator, and this is given on production of the certificate of origin which indicates the source and the farm owner.
There have been several incidents where transporters who buy forest produce from farms, move without seeking the movement permits. When the security officers including forest rangers on patrol arrest them, they complain that their business in being interfered with because their produce is not from public or community forests.
The most recent incident is that of Gitaru –Wangige road in Kiambu County which happened yesterday, where two lorries were arrested loaded with eucalyptus trees that had been harvested along a road reserve but did not have a movement permit as required.
The Service wishes to inform members of the public, that the movement permit is a requirement by everybody who is transporting forest produce regardless of the source of forest materials. Therefore, we urge everyone to comply to make work easier for all of us and protect our forests. The Service in collaboration with other security agencies and stakeholders will continue enforcing the Laws and Regulations that protect forest resources.
Ag. Chief Conservator of Forests