Kenya: Yesterday, the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) Senior Management Team was taken through a sensitization meeting on the progress in forest certification by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).
The workshop shared milestones, learnings and emerging gaps from Kenya Forest Service’s ongoing certification pilots in Eburu, Kinale, Geta and Muringato forest stations.
FSC advocates for the certification of forests based on ten core principles linked to a strict chain of custody that outlines requirements for the sustainable management of forests. FSC seeks to preserve forests, flora and fauna and clean water while supporting Indigenous People, forest workers and communities who depend on these resources.
Mr David Chege, who was representing the Ag. Chief Conservator of Forests noted in his speech that Kenya launched an the Interim National Standard (INS) in August 2021. This meant that Kenya had officially embarked towards forest certification for various forest blocks countrywide, including plantations, natural forests, farm-based forestry and dry woodlands.
Certification also provides an opportunity for forest management Certified (FMC) areas to produce verified ecosystem services claims. The certification of the pilot blocks is in the area of Forest Management and Ecosystem Services to address concerns around water catchment area management and ecotourism.
In February 2022, KFS and FSC developed a roadmap for the certification of the selected forest blocks and developed a joint plan of activities. So far, a team of 24 technical officers from KFS have been trained on the FSC principles, criteria and indicators to support the process.
The Senior Management Team also received highlights on the auditing process to ensure compliance with FSC standards. Present at the meeting held in Naivasha was Ms Charity Munyasya, Deputy CCF Natural Forest Conservation and Management, Dr Clement Ngoriareng, Deputy CCF Dryland and Farm Forestry Program, and Mrs Annah Agasha representing FSC Regional Director, Africa, among the other staff.