Monday, February 19, 2018
The CS Prof. Judi Wakhungu, PS Dr Margaret Mwakima and Director KFS, Emilio Mugo listening keenly to the KFS official explaining how the seedlings will be distributed to areas earmarked for the 2017 long rains Western Regime tree planting season.

The CS Prof. Judi Wakhungu, PS Dr Margaret Mwakima and Director KFS, Emilio Mugo listening keenly to the KFS official explaining how the seedlings will be distributed to areas earmarked for the 2017 long rains Western Regime tree planting season.

The government has announced that it will plant 170 million trees during this long rain season in an effort meant to attain the 10 percent forest cover by the year 2030.

Speaking at Koibatek Forest Station in Baringo County during the inauguration of Long Rains Tree Planting Season in the Western region, Environment and Natural Resources Cabinet Secretary Prof. Judi Wakhungu said the Ministry  through the Kenya Forest Service in partnership with the private sector and communities, has this financial year planned to raise and plant 170 million seedlings.

The Cabinet Secretary said that for the case of Mau forest conservancy, the Ministry targets to raise and plant 26.6 million seedlings to be achieved by the close of the current rainfall season.

Prof. Judi Wakhungu said investing in trees will not only create wealth and employment for Kenyans, but also stabilize the country’s landscape.

The launch of tree planting regime is marked every year, as a demonstration of the Ministry’s commitment and resolve to the greening of the country as well as supporting the growth of the forestry sector with the aim of continuous contribution to national economic and social growth as well as promoting environmental sustainability.

Prof. Wakhungu pronounced that the Ministry has now put into operation the Forest Conservation and Management Act, 2016 operationalized in March this year and which seeks to foster management and conservation of forests.

“This new legislation aligned to our Constitution, is a broad-based legislation and has reaching effects on the management and conservation of our forests. Subsequently, the national government and the counties are now, by law and in line with the Constitution required to work together in promoting the development of the forestry sector,” she said.

The Cabinet Secretary appealed to County governments to take note of the law and make good use of its provisions while drafting the county level policies and legislations to guide the development and management of community as well as county forests.

And to supplement the legislation that guides management and conservation of forests, she said the Ministry has also introduced the Plantation Establishment and Livelihood Improvement Scheme (PELIS) which facilitates improvement of tree plantation survival rate alongside allowing farmers to raise tree seedlings planted in gazetted forests, while growing food crops on the same piece of land.

State Department of Natural Resources Principal Secretary Dr.Margaret Mwakima said the tree plantation program was a milestone towards not only rehabilitating encroached forests but a step forward in forest conservation and management.

Present at the launch were Kenya Forest Service Chief Conservator Emilio Mugo, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Director of Administration Christopher Musumbu and various representatives from Government Agencies.

The theme for this year’s tree planting season is, ‘Panda Miti, Punguza Makali ya Ukame. This theme bears the reflection of the climate related challenges of a severe drought that our country and the region has just gone through in the recent months and which left a trail of destruction and suffering among Kenyans.

Nationally, the area which the National Government has set aside for the establishment and management of industrial plantation forests within the state forest areas currently stands at 140,000 hectares which represents eight percent of the total gazetted forest reserves.

This is part of the ready seedlings to be planted during the 2017 Tree planting season, for Western Rainfall Regime of our country.

This is part of the ready seedlings to be planted during the 2017 Tree planting season, for Western Rainfall Regime of our country.

 

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