Friday, October 20, 2017

The CS with panelists in a group photo during the dialogue.

The Government has put in place adequate measures that aim to sustainably coordinate and manage forests through the formulation of the National Forest Programme.

Environment and Natural Resources Cabinet Secretary Prof. Judi Wakhungu on Tuesday pronounced that the programme is designed to increase forest and tree cover, enhance forest based economic, social and environmental benefits alongside integration of national values and principles of good governance in forest development.

Addressing Stakeholders in Nairobi during a National Dialogue on Biodiversity Mainstreaming into sectors of the economy within the implementation of the National Forestry Programme, the Cabinet Secretary said the sole purpose of mainstreaming biodiversity into other sectors of the economy is to ensure functional ecosystems for healthy human populations and the environment human beings live in.

“I am pleased to join you here today during this national dialogue whose main aim is to catalyze the implementation of the National Forest Programme, mainstream biodiversity into sectors of the economy and raise awareness for increased resource mobilization,” she said.

Prof. Wakhungu said that in spite of the centrality of forests in environmental stability, forest ecosystems are increasingly under threat from the ever growing pressure to meet anthropological needs.

The Cabinet Secretary reiterated that flood regulation functions of forests are increasingly being impaired as the impact of climate change becomes even more real.

She said the forest’s ability to sustain forest based businesses must critically be looked into, given that Kenya’s economic growth targets   could be compromised in unsustainable forest management.

The Cabinet Secretary challenged the Caucus to ensure that sustainable forest management approaches are deeply entrenched in restoration of landscapes including water catchments whether in protected forests, community or private lands.

She further announced that the Government is also developing a National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP) and the first ever National Wildlife Conservation Strategy with the view of up scaling conservation.

State Department of Natural Resources Principal Secretary Dr. Margaret Mwakima who accompanied the Cabinet Secretary lauded the National Forest Programme,saying it is a unique policy framework designed to sustain and restore the resilience of forests in the country by ensuring that forests are able to withstand and recover from climate-related stresses and disturbances such as droughts, wildfires and epidemics of insects alongside diseases while adhering to the principles of sustainable forest management.

Dr. Mwakima said sustainable forest management will ensure that benefits derived from forests meet current needs and still contribute to the requirements for long-term development.

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