Kenya has progressively reviewed and improved legislation on forests over the years leading to the current Forest law on conservation and management. The Constitution of Kenya enhanced the profile of forests when it stipulated in Article 69 the expected minimum forest cover the country should aim to attain as ten percent of the land area of Kenya.  In addition the Kenya development blueprint, Vision 2030 anchored the minimum ten percent forest cover as a flagship project that the country should work towards achieving by 2030.

The legislative reforms culminated into the repeal of the Forest Act Cap 385 and the enactment of the Forests Act, 2005 which came into force on 7th February 2007. The law which has recently been reviewed to align it to the current Constitution established Kenya Forest Service as a semi-autonomous institution to oversee the sustainable management of forest resources in the country.


Forest Resources Assessment

The Service completed a comprehensive countrywide forest cover assessment which established Kenya’s forest cover as 7.2% equivalent to 4,195,051.20  hectares.  This  includes  1.9 Million ha classified as state forest areas under the jurisdiction of the Kenya Forest Service out of which 140,000ha is  set aside for  establishment of  industrial forest plantations . 

Opportunities for increasing the land area under protected areas are however limited leaving future expansion of tree cover in Kenya on farmlands and in the arid and semi arid areas of the country.

Over the past ten years over 1.4 Billion tree seedlings have been produced for forestry purposes which have been planted in different land configurations in the country.

Management of industrial Forest Plantations

A detailed forest plantation inventory that was conducted countrywide in 2008- 2010 to establish the true status of area under industrial forest plantations on gazetted forest land, determined this to be 140,000 hectares.  These are managed by Kenya forest Service.

Total seedlings produced for industrial forest plantations during the ten years period are 127,811,339. These seedlingswere used to establish a total area of 53,527 hectares of industrial forest plantations with a mean survival rate   of 60%.

Total area harvested in the period is 27,378 hectares producing total a 6,174,460 cubic meters of wood volume. The total revenue collected was KShs 15, 308 969,309 from the sale of both clearfelled and thinning materials from the industrial forest plantations.  New forest roads constructed during the period is 263 km.

Forest resources management on Communal and private land

The Service facilitated the Development of Charcoal rules, Private Forests Rules and Regulations, Forests (Gums and Resins) Rules, woodland management plans for Kitui and Taita Taveta; and the Management Strategy for Prosopis spp (mathenge). This was aimed at ensuring sustainable forest management on private land as well as rangelands.

The Service Facilitated the tree planting of 550 hectares in several urban centres across the country as well as the restoration of 415 hectares of community hilltops and 29,352 hectares of water towers.

Average household incomes increased from Kshs 2,500 in 2013 and Kshs 3,000 in 2014 rising to Kshs 10,600 per annum by 2015. This is attributed to regulation measures put in place for charcoal production from private lands and rangelands.

Securing and Enriching Forest Ecosystems

The Service was able to realign 330 km of forest boundaries and recovered 2,500 Ha of forest land from illegal settlements. The Service also re-established 1,584.6km of forest boundary.

Increased state forested land by 63.7 % with the gazettment of 22 existing forest blocks measuring 239,628.41 ha and 500,000 Ha of new forest areas. During the same period reclaimed 116,744ha of gazetted forest areas and restored 50,000 Ha of degraded forests through enrichment planting.

Forests and rural livelihoods improvement  

The Service Commissioned 125 nature based enterprises including bee-keeping, butterfly farming, silkworm farming, and herbal medicine as rural household livelihood improvement options, and licensed 27 ecotourism & recreation facilities all within the state forests.  The Ecotourism facilities are currently offering over 200 direct employment opportunities and has earned KFS a total of KShs 75 million for the last five years as revenue.

Forest protection and capacity enhancement

The paramilitary school was established at Kenya Forestry College for training and enhancing the skills of forest rangers.  In addition the forestry college has trained a total of   1947 diploma and certificate forestry technicians and conducted over 30 short courses in different disciplines during the period.

Commitment to Service Delivery and Performance improvement

The Service is ISO 9001:2008 certified. Certification of ISO 9001:2015 standard is underway which is the next level KFS set its target towards continuous improvement in service delivery. To improve information storage and retrieval the service has installed Forest Information System (FIS) (UVIO).

Community participation in Forest management

To enhance community involvement in forest management, the Service signed management agreements with 75 Community Forest Associations in various counties.

Internal Revenues and staff strength

Over the last 10 years the Service generated internal revenues totaling to KShs 18 billion from fees, charges and sale of various forest products accounting for approximately 45% of all the total revenues received. In addition a total KShs 8 billion have been provided by different   development partners who have continued to support forest development activities in the country. Total revenues received by the service for the same period is KShs 41 billion.

The staff strength has stabilized at about 5,000 with 52% of which perform enforcement and compliance duties.

Forest Products

Our Partners