Logging ban lifted in commercial forests only, CS Tuya clarifies

Environment, Climate Change and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Soipan Tuya has clarified that the recent lift of the logging moratorium only applies to commercial plantations and not indigenous forests.

“We have had a ban on logging existing in the country since 2018. At that time, it was a response to rampant illegal activities and high degradation of our ecosystems. When you hear about the lifting of the ban on logging, it only applies to the commercial plantations which have not been touched since 2018 due to the moratorium,” she said.

She added that the 5,000 hectares of the 150, 000 hectares of commercial forests across the country would be harvested annually for replanting and regeneration of logged acreage.

“The 150,000 hectares are in parts of our gazetted forests, only there will we allow for harvesting of commercial, exotic trees but not in indigenous forests,” the CS said.

She said the lifting of the ban would allow private forest owners who had been restricted by the 2018 moratorium to harvest their mature trees.

“The logging ban also came with restrictions upon private forests where farmers who have forests within their farms could not log. With the lifting of the ban, they will be allowed to log in a regulated manner,” the CS said.

Tuya noted that the Ministry was strengthening the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) to help in curbing illegal logging by, as a start, recruiting additional rangers.

On the 15 billion tree planting initiative, CS Tuya said the government is set to recruit 4,000 youth in the first cohort.

“We have advertised for the first lot of 4,000 youth and the advert is running up to 22nd of July. That’s just the first cohort. We intend to do up to 100,000 young people across the country to help us restore back extension services we need in forest conservation and ecosystem restoration,” she said.

The CS spoke on Thursday in North Horr town, Marsabit County where she commissioned Tiniqo and Horri Gudha wetlands, restored by the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) as part of the 15 billion national tree growing and ecosystem restoration programme.

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