Government to review Act to increase forest cover

By Judith Akolo

Kenya has so far achieved a 7% forest cover, up from 2% recorded five years ago

The government is in the process of reviewing the Forest Act to enable it to conform to the Constitutional requirement of realizing the 10 per cent forest cover in the country.

Conservation Secretary Gideon Gathaara said the global climate change debate has presented a unique opportunity for Kenya to aid in looking afresh at the forestry sector and strategically positioning the country in addressing the challenge of global warming.

Speaking at a workshop on Climate Change in various forest types in Sub-Sahara Africa, Gathaara said the government policy towards realising a 10 per cent forest cover by the year 2030 is critical in reversing the high rate at which global warming is evolving.

Kenya has so far achieved a 7% forest cover, up from a meagre 2% recorded five years ago, when the country’s water towers such as the Mau Forest, diminished because of deforestation.

Gathaara noted that the global climate change debate presents a unique opportunity for Kenya, enabling the country to examine afresh the forestry sector including ways of regenerating the   water towers.

The African Forest Forum Executive Secretary Godwin Kowero urged African communities to tap into global markets that trade in carbon including the Clean Development Mechanism – CDM and Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation – REDD+ programs developed by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

The forum was organised by the African Forest Forum.