Friday, November 22, 2019

CS, Mr. Keriako makes a point during the presentation, flanked by Dr. Njuguna from KEFRI, Mr. Gichu from Conservation Directorate and Mr. Wlson Tonkei from the CS office.

Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko has directed the formation of a multi-disciplinary task force to address the national wood deficit that rose sharply following a moratorium on logging.

The task force which will address commercial Forestry policy and strategy is to be spearheaded by the Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEEFRI) and the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) will comprise other government Ministries, Non-governmental agencies and the private sector and will culminate in a stakeholder consultation.

He said the team should come up with a stand-alone policy and strategy that is not addressed by the National Strategy for Achieving the 10 percent Tree Cover and which will address the rising wood and timber shortage in the country.

The CS added that the policy and strategy will address wider issues of Vision 2030. Sustainable Development |Goals, the Big 4 Agenda alongside helping the country achieve the 10 per cent tree cover by 2022.

It will involve the Ministries of Agriculture, Devolution, Trade, the Council of Governors, Gatsby Africa, KePSA, Timber Manufacturers, Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA), BIDCO, KAKUZI among others and is expected to be in place soon.

CS Tobiko was speaking during the presentation by various technical teams, on strategies to be adopted as the country races to achieve the National Tree Cover to 10 per cent by 2022.

He was informed that the country could be self-sufficient in wood and timber supplies in a short time if it adopted the commercial Forestry concept as has been used in Uganda and Mozambique.The CS further directed that a private youth enterprise GREEN PAP TREE INITIATIVE be incorporated in the National Tree Planting Strategy for use as a tree survival monitoring tool.

Mr. Tobiko was impressed by the enterprise’s virtual innovative methods to monitor tree growing using Drones and thermal imaging. This helps in matching the correct species for tree seedlings under different soil and weather conditions. Further the application will provide concrete live data about tree growing alongside linking environmentalists with County Green Ambassadors who promote tree planting in the country.

The CS recommended that the enterprise be enlisted for the forthcoming National Youth Convention that is scheduled to take place in Nairobi in September.

CS, Mr. Keriako Tobiko following keenly, as Mr. Richard Wambua. from GREEN PAP innovations, explaining about an App that he created for tracking and documenting tree planting activities

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