, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 18 – Importation of timber from neighbouring countries and harvesting from private plantations is permitted provided there is a joint verification and confirmation of source.
In a statement issued Wednesday, Environment Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko made this clarification due to concerns raised by various parties following the moratorium on logging that was issued on February.
“I wish to make the following clarifications on the importation and harvesting of timber from private plantations you will be required to have the following documents: the authenticity of the importation documents, issuance of movement permits, due payment of any applicable government taxes and levies and maintenance of the chain of custody records,” he stated.
However, Tobiko stated that harvesting, transportation and export of timber allegedly already paid for, felled or yet to be felled by licensed saw millers in Kenya Forest Service will not be exempted from the moratorium.
The freeze was declared to allow reassessment of the management of the forest sector in Kenya following serious concerns of wanton destruction of forests.
Already there is a 10-member task force that is looking into the forest management.
The task force was part of measures put in place to ensure that forests are protected in the wake of widespread destruction of forests.
The effects of logging have also been extensively captured in a report released recently by the Kenya Water Towers Agency who called for immediate resolutions on how the issue can be addressed.
In the report, logging emerged to be the leading threat facing water towers.
Research done at Mau and Chyulu water towers revealed that licensed millers have been harvesting timber beyond the allocated quarters.
Some of the millers also do not replant trees as they are required.
In order to salvage the situation, the three months moratorium was issued as well as country wide call to plant trees.