• May 24, 2024
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Forest Industry Investors Call For Harvesting of Forest Plantations in Elgeyo Marakwet County

Forest Industry Investors Call For Harvesting of Forest Plantations in Elgeyo Marakwet County

Kapsowar

Saturday May 11 2024

KNA by Rennish Okong’o

Forest industry investors in Elgeyo Marakwet County have called for the opening of forest plantations to enable the harvesting of mature and over-mature forest resources.

The demand was raised during an informative workshop on the disposal of forest plantation materials held in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet County.

The workshop, a requirement under law, was conducted by the Kenya Forest Service (KFS).

Speaking at the workshop, one investor expressed concern over the adverse effects of the logging moratorium, highlighting that valuable resources in the form of over-mature plantation trees were being lost to decomposition.

“It’s disheartening to see these resources go to waste when they could be utilised for various purposes,” the investor lamented.

The establishment of forest plantations is firmly embedded in the Forest Conservation and Management Act of 2016, which stipulates that all plantation forests in public forests must be managed sustainably for the production of wood and other forest products and services for commercial purposes.

Stakeholders emphasised that the Kenya Forest Service specifically plants plantation forests for commercial reasons.

Therefore, they argued, the service should not be hindered from harvesting these trees to generate revenue.

Furthermore, they praised the diverse outcomes of forest plantations, citing their positive impact on the lives of communities living adjacent to the resources.

The plantations, they noted, have contributed significantly to improving livelihoods and socioeconomic status.

The stakeholders noted that the country was losing a lot of revenue due to the ban and called on the government to act on the matter.

The pivotal meeting was chaired by Mr Fred Namusende, Senior Forester from the State Department for Forestry under the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, and hosted by Mr Paul Koech, the County Forest Conservator of KFS.

Also in attendance were senior officials from the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change and the Kenya Forest Service.

“It is imperative that we find a balanced approach that allows for the sustainable utilisation of forest resources while ensuring conservation efforts are upheld,” remarked Namusende during the deliberations.

The workshop concluded with a call for collaborative efforts between forest industry investors, government agencies, and conservation groups to devise strategies that promote responsible forest management and maximise the potential of forest plantations for the benefit of both communities and the economy.

Courtesy: KNA

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