Kenya: The Departmental Committee on Environment, Forestry and Mining (DCEFM) has visited Kenya Forest Service as part of their field visit to the public institutions which they oversight.
Chief Conservator of Forests, Alex Lemorkoko, said, “I hosted the committee led by the Vice Chairman and Member of Parliament for Baringo South Charles Kamuren during a tree growing exercise in Karura Forest where over 320 seedlings were planted together with staff members.”
Speaking at the tree-growing site, the Members of Parliament commended the KFS staff for their work of conserving and protecting forests, which they noted were major national resources. They urged the staff to keep up the good work and ensure that the country achieves the envisioned 30% tree cover by 2032.
“We then had a meeting together with members of the senior management where I had the opportunity to inform the Committee about the mandate of the Service and the programmes being implemented in order to ensure that forests play their role of anchoring the major economic sectors of the country,” added Lemorkoko.
“We had a candid discussion on the challenges hampering the achievement of our mandate which include inadequate resources to carry out the different forest management activities effectively.”
“I also informed the Members of the numerous opportunities, which include renewed government goodwill for the forestry sector and the launching of the 15 billion tree growing campaign by non-other than the President. The campaign will not only see the establishment of 30% tree cover but will also bring heavy investment in the sector.”
Another major opportunity which I shared with the committee is the involvement of the forest-adjacent communities through the Community Forest Associations (CFA) which has been a game changer in forest management in the country. An impressive number of corporate organisations and individuals have also joined the Service in the rehabilitation of degraded forest areas through the Adopt-a-Forest initiative.
The Committee Members also included the Kwale Women Representative Fatuma Masito, MP for Msambweni Feisal Bader, MP for Kajiado North Onesmus Ngogoyo and Joseph Wainaina, who is a nominated MP, sought to find out how they can support KFS to achieve her mandate. They agreed that there was a need to allocate funds that are commensurate with the programmes being implemented by the Service and promised to lobby for adequate allocation of funds.
They also agreed that the ongoing review of the Forest Conservation and Management Act was timely as it will capture some of the emerging issues in forestry, such as carbon trading, and clearly define the roles of the various institutions in the forest conservation sector.