• CS met stakeholders to assess the implementation progress of the National Tree-planting Campaign Strategy.
• KFS has been appealing to institutions to adopt sections of forests within the country for restoration and rehabilitation.
Environment CS Keriako Tobiko has urged key agencies under the ministry to fast-track the implementation of the National Tree-planting Campaign Strategy.
The strategy seeks to increase the tree cover in the country from the current 7.2 per cent which is below the recommended minimum global standard of 10 per cent.
The government seeks to have a cover of at least 10 per cent by 2022.
Tobiko on Wednesday chaired a meeting to assess the implementation progress of the strategy at Kenya Forest Service headquarters.
He was accompanied by his PS Chris Kiptoo.
The meeting also brought together the board chairs and directors, CEOs and senior staff of implementing agencies in the Environment and Forestry ministry.
They included the KFS, Kenya Forest Research Institute, Kenya Water Towers Agency, National Environment Complaints Committee, National Environment Trust Fund and Kenya Meteorological Department.
KFS was led by board chairman Peter Kinyua, director Joel Laigong and chief conservator of forests Julius Kamau.
“KFS must be able to account for the stock of available seedlings for planting in the long rains of March, April and May and also create an inventory of trees and fruit trees nurseries in the country,” Tobiko said.
The CS said all the agencies implementing the campaign must utilise allocated resources meaningfully as well as develop a monitoring system for the survival of planted seedlings.
“Make use of public schools and tertiary learning institutions for tree growing and production of seedlings to bridge the gap for the seedlings production shortfall,” he said.
He further urged agencies allocated funds for the campaign to be transparent and accountable on expenditure.
KFS has been appealing to institutions to adopt sections of forests within the country for restoration and rehabilitation as one way of enhancing the cover.
Kamau told the Star that forests in the country need rehabilitation.
“Some 18.5 per cent of forests in public land is degraded. It is a huge challenge to conserve,” he said.
The last comprehensive forest cover assessment, 'wall-to-wall' – conducted in 2013 – established that by 2010, the national forest cover stood at 4.18 million hectares representing 6.99 per cent of the total land.
The latest institution to adopt forest for rehabilitation is the Dedan Kimathi University of Technology.
The institution adopted 850 hectares of Tanyai Forest block for restoration and rehabilitation.
Vice-Chancellor Ndirangu Kioni said the university will also put up a tree nursery with technical support from KFS to encourage its 8,000 students to plant trees.
KFS and university management are set to design a partnership framework for the adoption of the block.
Edited by R.Wamochie