By Michael Kitum


A new day has dawned at Kenya Forest Service (KFS) with the appointment and assumption of office by Mr. Julius  Kamau the new Chief Conservator of Forests (CCF), taking over office on Friday 26th April, 2019 from outgoing Ag.CCF Monica Kalenda who served for an year in acting capacity as the Service underwent transition.

CCF Julius Kamau, a First Class Honors Degree holder in Forestry (Moi University) emerged the top candidate among 21 other applicants for the highly coveted position which was advertised in January 2019. He also holds a Masters of Arts Degree in Environmental Planning and Management (University of Nairobi) and a Diploma in International Law Making and Diplomacy (University of Eastern Finland) among other academic qualifications.


Speaking during the handover ceremony presided over by KFS Board of Management and Senior Officials, the Board Chairman Mr. Peter Kinyua expressed confidence in the new CCF who has over 17 years experience in the conservation sector to lead the way in implementing reforms and creating a positive change that Kenyans yearn for in the sector.


“There must be unity of purpose and team work. Communication to all must be key. This is inside and outside the Service. Tell the country what you are doing, when and how you intend to achieve these goals.” Said Mr. Kinyua.


The chair also emphasized in the need to implement the recommendations of the Taskforce Report on Forest Resources Management and Logging Activities in Kenya 2018, the important role of the Service in the realization of the Big 4 Agenda, staff housing and welfare of staff among the main priorities that the Board expects the incoming CCF to undertake at the helm of office.


In his maiden speech, the CCF Mr.Julius Kamau acknowledged the strategic niche in the socio-economic and ecological discourse that KFS occupies in the country pointing out that his intentions will be to harness and capitalize on the Service’s capabilities to deliver its mandate.


“My passion to serve in this position is not random, but a calling. I was born for such a time and I want to believe we were all born for such a time; to serve nature and people for our own survival, that of others in the current and future generations.” Said Mr.James Kamau.


 CCF Kamau outlined the following as top on his priorities as he takes the helm of management;

1.Driving the KFS reforms (structural, managerial, administrative, financial and governance) agenda objectively informed by the recommendations of the Forest taskforce Report 2018.

2.Pushing for an enhanced financing by the Exchequer to finance the Service’s operations.

3.Diversifying revenue streams for KFS beyond Exchequer; from development partners, internal streams-Ecotourism, payment of Ecosystem services and commercial operations.

4.Sealing any form of revenue leakage and ensuring prudent and efficient utilization of forest resources.

5.Reforming the organizational structure to ensure individual accountability, fair treatment of all staff, cutting edge communication and competence development to support effective and innovative protection, conservation, management and efficient utilization of forest resources.

6.Improving the working environment of staff through capacity building, technical modernization of operations and embracing technology in forest assessment, management, protection, monitoring and reporting.

7.Restoring public image, confidence and trust through public presence, communications and media management.

8.Working diligently to nurture and develop relationships with the national government, partners, state agencies, private sector, community forest association, stakeholders and the general public for effective cooperation.


Kamau has a great wealth of experience in policy dialogue and influence, design and management of environmental programmes in private, public and international development cooperation sectors. Prior to joining the Service he was the Deputy Executive Director of The Rhino Ark Kenya Charitable Trust. He has in the past worked with the Embassy of Finland as a Forest Specialist, Embassy of Sweden as a Regional Programme Manager, INTASAVE Africa as the Regional Director and the East African Wildlife Society as the Executive Director.


KFS Board Chairman Mr.Peter Kinyua witnesses handover between the incoming CCF Mr. Julius Kamau and outgoing Ag.CCF Monica Kalenda.

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