KFS to leverage on adopting a forest program to expand forest cover

KFS to leverage on adopting a forest program to expand forest cover

The Kenya Forest Service (KFS) is leveraging on partnerships forged under the Adopt a Forest Program to expand the national tree cover and to conserve ecosystems that are central to the economic growth of the country.

KFS Chief Conservator Julius Kamau says the program seeking to pool conservators in the corporate and the public sectors seeks to work with communities neighboring public forests to plant and grow 20 Million indigenous trees on 25,000 acres of public forests that are up for adoption.

Kamau hopes this will spur the quest for the 10 percent national tree cover up from the current 7 percent in the next five years.

He was speaking at Kamara forest bloc of Eastern Mau Complex where he launched the planting and growing of 1.2 Million indigenous trees initiative by the environment conservation advocate The Green Belt Movement.

Kamau said central to the idea is the conservation of wetlands and springs within the targeted area in an effort to protect marked water catchment points from degradation which he says are critical to the sustenance of rivers and lakes in the neighboring Baringo County which supports livelihoods of thousands of communities.

The Chief Conservator welcomed the Environment Soldier Program which is one of the partners in the cause, saying it has assisted KFS to rehabilitate 70,000 acres of the country`s  4882,000  hectares of public forest .  

He urged members of the public to abide by the Government`s requirement of planting trees on 10 percent of their land to support the greening initiative.

Green Belt Movement Executive Director Wycliffe Matika said the organization`s 1.2 million tree program aims to 12 river and 5 lakes` ecosystems  in the Central and South Rift Regions which also host the Maasai Mara and other  wildlife reserves in the tourist circuit which support the country`s economy and hundreds of thousands of livelihoods.

Matika said The Green Belt Movement has planted 530,000 seedlings of indigenous trees in the spirit of conservation and peacebuilding in the communities that are dependent on rivers and lakes that draw water from the springs within the Mau Complex.

On his part, Canon Joel Cherutich representing the Kenya Defense Forces anticipates the Environment Soldier Program to plant and grow another 20 million trees within the Mau ecosystem over the next three years in what he says will be part of the soldiers` contribution to the country`s spirited environmental conservation campaign.

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