Saturday, May 26, 2018
The Cabinet Secretary Prof. Judi Wakhungu (center), Finland ambassador (right) and Principal Secretary for Environment Charles Sunkuli (left), at International Day of Forests 2017 celebrations in Ramisi, Kwale County.

The Cabinet Secretary Prof. Judi Wakhungu (center), Finland ambassador (right) and Principal Secretary for Environment Charles Sunkuli (left), at International Day of Forests 2017 celebrations in Ramisi, Kwale County.

The cabinet secretary Prof. Judy Wakhungu has said that her Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources is ready to work closely with County Governments on forest conservation, protection and management. “Counties should prioritize forestry development in their plans and budgets and set aside resources to facilitate the employment of forestry professionals and implementation of County forestry programmes’’ Cabinet secretary remarked.

Wakhungu said that the government of Kenya has made every effort to highlight and pronounce the importance of forests to Wananchi, which is also enshrined in chapter 5 of the constitution of Kenya, stipulating that the state will work to achieve and maintain a tree cover of at least 10% of total land area.

Cabinet secretary said this when she officiated the 2017 International Day of Forests in Ramisi primary school, Msambweni sub-County, Kwale County. The theme for this year is FOREST AND ENERGY. This theme goes hand in hand with the fact that wood is still the most important single source  of renewable energy providing about 6% of the global total energy supply and 80% in the case of Kenya.

Wakhungu said that Kenya is an active participant in the United Nation Forum on Forests (UNFF) and has demonstrated commitments to processes of delivering the revised United Nations Forest instrument and the United Nation strategic plan for forests for the period 2017-2030. “It is also my duty to inform you that the Forest Act 2005 will soon be repealed while the assented forest and conservation management Act 2016 will soon be gazetted” said Judi.

CS congratulated Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Kenya Forest Service, Kenya Forest Research Institute and County Governments for their great efforts of developing the first National Forest Programme for Kenya, through financial and technical support from the Government at Finland. She thanked the government and the people of Finland for supporting Kenya’s national efforts of increasing forest cover, reversing degradation of forests and enhancing forest- based economic, social and environmental benefits.

While at the celebrations to mark the International Day of Forests, the Ministry through the State Department of Natural Resources, also signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Gatsby Africa for supporting the development of commercial forestry.

The global celebration of forests provides a platform for raising awareness on the importance of all types of forests and trees outside forests. This date was specifically set aside by the United Nations General Assembly to allow member states to celebrate the importance of forests on global scale. This day’s celebration was achieved through the efforts of the United Nations Forum on Forests and Food and Agricultural Organization, FAO since 2012.

CS Prof Judi Wakhungu and Finland ambassador Tara Fernandez with the just launched National Forest Programme, a framework to guide and coordinate the development within the forest sector.

CS Prof Judi Wakhungu and Finland ambassador Tara Fernandez with the just launched National Forest Programme, a framework to guide and coordinate the development within the forest sector.

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