• The government imposed a ban of all logging of trees in 2018
• The Environment CS has now indicated that the ban will be lifted for forest plantations
The Environment CS has said that the government is planning to lift the ban on all logging in Kenya.
Since 2018, it has effectively been illegal to cut down any tree in Kenya. Now the ban will be lifted selectively in plantations where trees are mature, over-mature or rotting.
In June 2022, the moratorium was partially lifted but the conditions for sawmillers were so stringent that it was almost impossible for most of them to operate.
There are 335,000 acres of plantations in Mt Kenya, Aberdares, Mau Forest Complex, Cherangani Hills and Mt Elgon. By definition, their trees are mostly exotic, like eucalyptus, and intended for early harvest.
So not only is the KRA losing tax on timber sales but the KFS is losing money as over-mature trees become rotten and lose their sale value.
Moreover, the construction industry suffers as the price of eucalyptus poles continues to increase because of this artificial shortage.
So the decision to allow harvesting of plantation trees is a good idea with one big proviso – the KFS must make certain that sawmillers don't steal high-value indigenous species under the guise of harvesting exotic non-native trees.
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