Kenya records improved forest cover in 2030 target rally

November 21, 2016 5:51 pm
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CS Wakhungu addresses participants of forestry meet in Nairobi/MUTHONI WAWERU
CS Wakhungu addresses participants of forestry meet in Nairobi/MUTHONI WAWERU

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 21 – Kenya’s forest cover has increased from 6.9 per cent in 2013 to 7.24 per cent in 2016, an improvement that has been attributed to the policy frameworks put in place to protect and preserve the ecosystems.

Speaking during the official launch of the 2016 African Ecosystem Services Partnership Conference, Environment and Natural Resources Cabinet Secretary Judi Wakhungu said Kenya like many other African countries, faces many environmental challenges.

“At the turn of the century, Kenya had a forest cover of over 10 per cent which reduced to less than 7 per cent due to deforestation, commercial agriculture, charcoal burning and forest cultivation,” said the CS.

As a result of these challenges, the government has resolved to undertake restoration of 5.1 million hectares of degraded lands through tree-based restoration including Afro-forestry.

“A good part of this will include restoration of degraded ranges,” Wakhungu said.

Wakhungu highlighted that the government has currently put in place policy frameworks that address protection and preservation of ecosystem services.

This will include the minimum target of 10 per cent forest cover in vision 2030 and the Kenya water towers management programmes aimed at protecting and preserving the five water towers in the country.

“This has enabled a huge investment in protecting the Mau forest including fencing a majority of the perimeter to allow natural regeneration.”

The conference which has attracted delegates and stakeholders from around the world under the theme “Ecosystem Services for SDG’s in Africa” will be looking at how ecosystem  services link with sustainable development goals and targets for Africa.

The conference which kicked off on Monday will go on for three days here in Nairobi.

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