Thursday, December 3, 2020
Environment and Forestry PS Dr. Chris Kiptoo (Right), and UNDP Resident Representative Walid Badawi during the media sensitization workshop on the National Strategy to Achieve 10% Forest cover .

Environment and Forestry PS Dr. Chris Kiptoo (Right), and UNDP Resident Representative Walid Badawi during the media sensitization workshop on the National Strategy to Achieve 10% Forest cover .

Ministry of Environment and Forestry Principal Secretary Dr. Chris Kiptoo has decried the high demand for timber products which is exerting pressure and over-exploitation of forest resources.

PS Dr. Kiptoo has said the demand for wood products in the country outweighs the supply and this is threatening efforts aimed at increasing the forest cover.
The PS was speaking at a Nairobi hotel, during a media breakfast aimed at sensitizing the media on the governments National Strategy to Achieve 10% Forest Cover by 2022.
Dr. Kiptoo said the strategy provides basis for wider stakeholders’ participation in accelerating constitutional and Presidential directive which aim at planting and growing at least two billion trees, he urged for massive tree growing from the public, private sectors and individuals towards achieving the 10 percent projected under the strategy.
“As members of the media, you’re an important constituency in promoting forest & environment conservation through education, advocacy & awareness creation. My ministry considers you as key actors in the sector,” said the PS
“The strategy identifies actions that will accelerate tree production at the local level and also bring on board stakeholders in the afforestation, including the private sector to support tree establishment across the country. I request you to join us as we implement the strategy by bringing on board your comparative strengths in public education, awareness and sensitization” said the PS.
A section of journalists field questions during the media breakfast. PS Dr. Kiptoo said the media is critical constituency in implementation of the strategy.

A section of journalists field questions during the media breakfast. PS Dr. Kiptoo said the media is critical constituency in implementation of the strategy.

He said the government is already in the process of facilitating Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI) to produce 100 metric tonnes of seeds to enable production of enough seedlings for the tree planting campaign.

Ministry of Environment Head of Forest Conservation Mr. Alfred Gichu said the current demand for wood products has hit 45 million meters cubic against a supply of 30 million.
Gichu said there is a deficit of 15 million cubic metersthat must be addressed, and currently the country relies on imports.
Forests help regulate ecosystems, protect biodiversity, they play an integral part in the carbon cycle, support livelihoods, and can they can help drive sustainable growth.
Gichu called for protection and conservation of forests even as the demand for timber keeps rasing due to massive infrastructure projects, Gichu said Sh 48 billion is needed towards the venture.”The annual cost of inaction is Sh 168 billion over the strategy implementation period,” he warned.
Gichu said the Ministry will expand tree growing sites in Arid and semi-arid areas and added that “We must also promote trees in farmland that accounts for 10 million hectares,”.
Present During the event were United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Resident Representative Walid Badawi and Kenya Forest Service Deputy Chief Conservator (CCF), Mr. Patrick Kariuki.
Badawi said Kenya loses about 12,000 hectares of forest each year through deforestation.
“About 12 per cent of the land area which was originally covered by closed canopy forests has been reduced to about 1.7 per cent of its original size, “Badawi said.
Badawi lauded the programmes the government has initiated to reverse the trend.
He said UNDP is ready and willing to help Kenya get into the right trajectory by using its longstanding experience.
The Deputy  CCF Mr. Patrick Kariuki urged Kenyans to rally and help the country achieve the 10 per cent forest cover saying it is possible.
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