- KFS chief conservator Julius Kamau applauds stakeholders for their support.
- He said the 10 per cent tree cover was a bare minimum.
The government will plant more trees after attaining over 10 per cent tree cover target, the KFS boss has said.
The Kenya Forest Service chief conservator Julius Kamau said the country had surpassed its target and now stands at 12.13 per cent tree cover.
The chief conservator spoke at KFS headquarters in Karura on Friday during the release of the National Forest Assessment Report 2021.
Kamau said the 10 per cent tree cover was the bare minimum to show commitment to reforesting degraded forests.
The KFS boss said they now target to attain the 30 per cent tree cover by 2050.
“The President said the country should attain a 30 per cent by 2050 and we quickly adopted it and strategies are on course,” Kamau said.
He applauded President Uhuru Kenyatta for the support he had given the KFS in its tree-planting campaigns.
According to the KFS, forest cover stood at 6.99 per cent in 2013 but declined to 5.99 per cent in 2018.
However, KFS, environmentalists and the government joined forces and began the national tree planting campaign launched by the President in March 2018.
“In March 2018, the President affirmed the commitment to achieve a minimum of 10 per cent tree cover by 2022 as part of national efforts to address climate change,” Kamau said.
He noted that the NFA report had been presented to the President who launched it on May 27 at State House.
He said all the strategies they had employed after the launch succeeded as seen by the rise of forest cover.
He also revealed that reclaimed 57 hectares of forest land that had been grabbed.
Kamau said some of the strategies included adopting a forest, where 104 partners joined and replanting trees within a given period of time.
He said out of the 104 partners, 54 were state departments.
“The commitment shown by the partners helped us achieve these numbers. We also urged farmers and residents to plant trees,” he said.
Kamau said wanton destruction of forests had left many gaps since trees were being cut down without replanting.
A member of the Community Forest Association at Uplands forest John Njane lauded the government for allowing them to cultivate in the forest while taking care of the trees planted under the programme of Plantation Establishment Livelihood Systems (Pelis).
“You are assigned a quarter piece of land in the forest, where you plant food crops and you take care of the trees planted. They are inspected every week," Njane said.
"This is so good because it supports many families and creates jobs for many people living near the forests."
(Edited by Tabnacha O)