KAM, KFS ink deal to achieve Kenya’s 10% forest cover

KAM, KFS ink deal to achieve Kenya's 10% forest forest cover

The Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) has signed a three-year deal for tree planting and forest conservation with the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) to increase forest cover in Kenya.

It is a well-timed deal since the country is in its rainy season.

The new partnership aims to foster the two organisations’ commitment to partnering to restore up to 10,000 Ha of identified degraded forest areas within 41 counties by involving the seven chapters of KAM countrywide.

Outgoing KAM Chief Executive Officer Phyllis Wakiaga acknowledged the KFS role in enhancing the manufacturing sector through forest conservation.

“The Plan seeks to shed light on interdependencies of the forestry industry and other economic sectors for the country’s socio-economic development, whilst preserving our ecosystems.”

Wakiaga praised KFS leadership in restoring public confidence and rallying members of the public to grow more trees leading to positive visibility of the Service outlook.

KFS Chief Conservator of Forests, Julius Kamau welcomed the partnership.

“We must all collaborate to sustainably restore and conserve our environment. A sustainable environment is key in driving manufacturing growth. Through this partnership, we shall increase the country’s forest cover from the current 8.83 percent forest cover to about 10 percent in the next strategic cycle,” said Kamau.

Kamau said manufacturing sector is one of the direct beneficiaries of well-conserved forest ecosystems as most require ecological goods and services such as water for manufacturing.

Kenya is targeting to increase the national tree cover from 7.4 percent of 10 percent by the end of 2022.

The government is in need of Ksh.48 billion to realise this factor.

The decreasing forest cover has been aggravated by an abated environmental destruction of trees for charcoal burning.

A total of 35,956 seedlings have so far been planted in 34Ha through the technical support of its field officers.

The monies will be channeled for forest cover in arid and semi-arid areas through the acquisition of specialised equipment and more vehicles by KFS.

February last year, KFS flagged off a 165-horsepower tractor, which was procured for tree planting in the arid and semi-arid lands.

The tractor was procured in the 2019-20 financial year through the National Treasury.

“This technology will support the dry land forestry activities while combating desertification and climate change. It will also increase biodiversity, combat hunger and poverty through agroforestry interventions,” said Kamau, then.

ASAL areas cover about 80 percent of the total land surface in Kenya and hold 25 percent of the human population.

Such areas are unique in nature and require special attention to strengthen not only the economic base of the inhabitants but also the national economy.

ASALs offer the greatest potential for intensified afforestation towards achieving the national objective of 10 percent tree cover.

Marsabit has 1.70 per cent, Wajir 1.94, Taita Taveta 3.63, Kwale 5.44, Mandera 3.04, Garissa 7.09, Isiolo 5.34, Kajiado 7.14, Kilifi 7.67 and Turkana 4.06 per cent.

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