The government has extended a moratorium on logging in public and community forests which was imposed in 2018.
Environment Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko in a statement released on Monday said the decision was reached after considering recommendations of both the Board of Management of the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) and the Multi-Agency Team on Mapping.
Tobiko, however, said that the moratorium would be modified to allow for harvesting and disposal of mature and over-mature forest plantations by KFS for an area not exceeding 5000 hectares.
The CS also noted that the harvesting and disposal of forest plantation materials shall be oversighted by a multi-agency team and would be conducted in an open, transparent, accountable manner to ensure value for money.
Tobiko saying that the details of particulars of the forest areas to be harvested and the terms and conditions applicable shall be published in due course.
In 2019, Kenya and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to help increase forest cover as part of efforts to protect the country from environmental destruction.
The program dubbed “Greening Kenya” campaign would ensure that about 50 million tree seedlings were planted.
Tobiko attributed low forest cover in Kenya at the time to over-exploitation of forest resources and impacts of climate change.
“Climate change has led to negative impacts such as; frequent cyclic droughts, rising temperatures, reduced water levels, erratic rainfall and destructive floods,” he said.
The ‘Greening Kenya’ programme was projected to establish between 30,000 – 40,000 Ha of forests by 2022 and increase forest cover from 7% to 10%.