“Towards A Business Oriented Forestry”





Target participants:

Dialogue will be open to participants who register for the conference. These will include forest practitioners, policy makers, community groups, private sector, civil society, National and County government officer and development partners.


The decline of the forestry sector in the 1980’s stands out, where large portions of plantation were excised and allocated for human settlement and while a section of the remaining areas faced illegal harvesting. Replanting of harvested areas started to lag behind due to shortage of funds. By the late 1990’s, the forest plantation was in a very poor state and could no longer supply adequate raw material for the wood industry. This decline could directly be associated with politically motivated conversion of forests to settlement and illegal harvesting.  These actions had impact on forestry profession especially aspects  of  plantation forests. In an attempt  to save the remaining forests, the government issued a presidential decree banning all logging in state forests in 1999.This ban impacted on the market and resulted to price distortions and many sawmills made financial losses and had to close down. By early 2000s all medium and small scale sawmills and panel board mills had closed down.

The radical reforms in the forest sector through enactment of new forestry law and policies in 2005 brought about the transformation in the management of public forests in Kenya. The wood processing sector got a new lease of live through the lifting of the ban. The reform in the forestry has seen the emergence of laws and policies for effective administrative and management systems for implementing and promoting good forest practices as well as change in governance and accountability. Initially, before the ban, most of investment in the forestry sector depended on the public forestry in meeting their industrial needs mainly for poles, paper and timber industry. However the ban brought a paradigm shift giving impetus to private sectors and single farmers’ investment in commercial plantation especially for species like eucalyptus and pines in private lands. Even after the lifting of the ban, individuals and companies investments in forestry has continued, notably the government through KFS is setting up investment funds to incentivize investments in trees, which have seen a tremendous growth over the past few years.

The recently enacted Forest management and Conservation Act, 2016 provide for incentives in forest investment and conservation. Investment in forestry has over time expanded to include non timber forest products, bamboo planting, forest nurseries, high value trees and a range of value addition in products and services from the forest. However this contribution of Forest products and services is yet to be captured in the national accounts, yet there is huge potential exist for business orient forestry to contribute to the country economy.

Conference rationale 

The Forestry Society of Kenya intends to bring together various players in the sector to explore innovative ways of how forests can make a significant contribution to the economic development of the country and turn forestry into profitable business ventures. The conference aims to discuss strategies and experiences towards business oriented forestry; this refers to the use of forestry to make income to the user through engaging forestry whereby the end result has net income i.e. through use of forest nursery, forest woodlots, bamboo enterprises, timber and non timber products among others

The conference specific objective will include

1.      Enhance/widen the knowledge base of commercial and high value tree species for business orient forestry

2.      Enhance the sector financing mechanism – forestry being a massive investment, financing pools need to be created to provide incentives for commercial forestry, and other financial players to come in, and the need for assurance of returns on investment generated for wood and Non wood forest products

3.      Explore linkages and partnership for business orient forestry in quality and value addition of value addition processes.

4.      Fast track the implementation of the National Forest Programme in regard to business orient forestry , in what extent has the sector internalised the programme.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            


OVERALL DIALOGUE THEME:  “Towards a Business Oriented Forestry”

Sub Themes

1.      Wood and Non Wood Forest products: Current entrepreneurial  status in Kenya; quality assurance and value addition in commercial forestry

2.      Innovations in forestry business and technology

3.      Financing and returns in forestry enterprise

4.      Devolving role of government in forestry enterprises


Registration Details (package not inclusive of accommodation)


Amount (Ksh.)

FSK Members


FSK Students


Non - Members


East Africa Participants


International Participants


Corporate  Exhibitions