National Forest Programme launched

The National Forest Programme (NFP) was launched by the Cabinet Sercretary Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Prof. Judi Wakhungu on 21st March, 2017 in Kwale County. The NFP is a strategic framework for forest policy, planning and implementation. The goal of the programme is to develop and sustainably manage, conserve, restore and utilize forests and allied resources for socio-economic growth and climate resistance. The stakeholders involved in the programme are communities, private sector, National Government, County governments and the civil society 

The strategic objectives of the programme are increase forest and tree cover and reverse forest degradation, enhance forest-based economic, social and development policies, enhance capacity development, research and adoption of technologies, increase investments in forest development and integrate national values and principles of good governance in forest development. The objectives are put into 8 clusters which are forest productivity, forest governance, Natural forest management and conservation, forest for water, forest for energy, forestry education training and research, forest financing and forest and climate change.

National Forest Programmes are globally adopted frameworks for forest policy, planning and implementation at the country level. They cover a wide range of implementation approaches to sustainable forest management, aiming at the conservation and sustainable use of forest resources.

The NFP concept is a product of the UNCED-post-Rio 20+ and the current international forest dialogue. There is no standard recipe and its contents or outcomes and therefore NFPs are flexible concepts NFPs are recognized as country-driven frameworks for sustainable forest development. NFPs link forestry with the wider national processes of sustainable development and poverty alleviation ,through a cross-sectoral framework to help address the underlying causes of deforestation and forest dergradation.NFP redefine the role of the state and other key stakeholders in forest management, by recognizing that public-sector institutions alone cannot respond effectively to the new and diverse interests in forests.

The constitution creates a robust governance framework for the management of natural resources. It also addresses balance and structure between major stakeholders, namely national and county governments, communities and private actors across several related sectors. This NFP along with the forests (conservation and management 0 bill and the Draft Forest Policy are integrating the constitution and the Vision 20130’s priorities in the forest sector. In this way, forestry development values, principles and time targets are reflecting the national development goals.

The National Forest Programme2016-1030) is the first cross sectoral and multi-stakeholder national frame work for the development, aimed at meeting the needs of Kenyans in the next 15 years. The development process has been cross-sectoral, inclusive and highly participatory, with direct and active involvement of over 600 stakeholder representatives over only a 20 month period. A meaningful participation balance was obtained between the two tiers (national and county).private sector, communities and civil society.

Although forests contribute significantly to the national economy, their full value and contribution to the GDP is not adequately captured in national economic statics. Forests and trees also contribute to the livelihoods of communities especially women and marginal groups, in addition to increasing food security, rural energy, water provision and other environmental services. The NFP was developed to increase forest cover , boost the forests’ contribution to the national economy, enhance resilience to climate change, and improve livelihoods.

CS Environmnet and Natural Resources Prof. Judi Wakhungu together with Finnish Ambassador Tarja during the launch of the National Forest Program.

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