Kenya: The Principal Deputy Chief Conservator of Forests (PDCCF) of Kenya, Peter Waweru, has met with a delegation from IDH-ISLA led by the Chairman of Stawisha Mau Charitable Trust, Dr Kipkirui Lang’at at the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) headquarters to discuss the conservation of the Mau Forest Complex and especially the South Western Mau which plays a critical role to the livelihoods of communities neighbouring the forest.
Through the Initiative for Sustainable Landscapes (ISLA), IDH aims to restore and conserve 60,000 hectares of the forest by 2030 to ensure the sustainability of the agricultural sector, including the production of tea, a key economic earner for the country and small scale farmers in the region.
Waweru, who was representing the Chief Conservator of Forests of Kenya, Alex Lemarkoko, thanked ISLA for their long standing support in forest conservation and landscape restoration programmes in the Mau Forest.
He appealed for more support to ensure the securing of the critical ecosystem through fencing and community empowerment projects to ensure the forest is left to perform its environmental stabilization role and provision of ecosystem services.
On his part, Dr Lang’at said that IDH had built a strong coalition of partners and had developed an integrated action plan that will ensure the conservation of the forest for improved water flows and access, sustainable energy and alternative livelihoods for communities.
The two teams agreed that the ongoing Operation Imarisha Misitu, which was initiated to remove forest encroachers and halt illegal activities, was very important as it will ensure the restoration of the forests.
The two organizations agreed to work together to improve the capacity of forest rangers to patrol the forest through the enhancement of communication infrastructure to enable proper forest surveillance.
The two organizations will also formalize their framework of collaboration to guide their collaborative forest conservation activities.