Saturday, June 24, 2017

Principal Secretary Dr Margaret Mwakima poses for a photo with pupils of Mwakishimba Primary School in Wundanyi, Taita Taveta County where she led the public for tree planting ceremony for the Coastal region. This is a photo to be ever remembered by these pupils about the visit to their school. A total number of 1,500 trees were planted.

State Department of Natural Resources Principal Secretary Dr. Margaret Mwakima has hailed the roll out of Plantation Establishment and Livelihood Improvement Scheme (PELIS) in Taita Taveta County, saying it has both enhanced forest conservation and improved human livelihood.

Speaking on Tuesday at Mwakishimba Primary School in the County, the Principal Secretary said through PELIS programme, the forest adjacent communities have taken part in forest conservation while at the same time earning a living from the resource.

“The benefits forest adjacent communities derive from these partnerships are enhanced food production and income generation through sustainable harvesting of non-wood forest products guided by the approved participatory forest management plans for each of our forests,” said the PS.

She said the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources has operationalized the Forest Conservation and Management Act, 2016 which creates strong provisions for the formation of Community Forest Associations (CFAs) for all communities who live in the neighborhoods of State as well as county forests.

Dr. Mwakima said the new Act is in tandem with the Country’s Constitution and lays emphasis on inclusive engagement and participation of all stakeholders.

The PS  said that Kenya Forest Service has the mandate to sustainably manage all public forests and allied resources for environmental stability and the socio-economic development of the Kenyan people.

“This is an enormous mandate which the Kenya Forest Service cannot achieve singly, but through collaboration and cooperation with the county governments and well-structured partnerships with the private sector, individuals, corporate entities and other government agencies”, she added.

Dr. Mwakima announced that nine Community Forest Associations registered in the county are actively engaged in forest protection, rehabilitation and tree planting in the degraded forest areas.

She said Taita Taveta forests have played a major role in addressing some of the threats facing the biodiversity and livelihoods of the local people and require to be protected at any cost.

The PS challenged all Kenyans including those in Taita Taveta County to ensure that forests that are protected and conserved for posterity.

The ever green beautiful scenery of Wundanyi, with indigenous trees and shrubs that forms the ever attractive and strong ecosystem in Taita Taveta County.

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