The launch of 2016 Eastern Regime tree planting season during short rains has been completed.
Environment and Natural Resources Cabinet Secretary Prof Judi Wakhungu who officiated the launch at Meru Forest Station, Meru County said the sector will make use of ‘every drop of rain’ to increase forest cover through enhanced tree planting and care of seedlings.
The CS noted that her ministry has been mobilising and encouraging Kenyans to plant more trees for environmental sustainability, production of forest goods and services as well as increase national forest cover to 10 per cent.
She observed that the government remains committed to forging strong working relationships with county governments to enhance forestry development. “I encourage county governments to also finalise and implement their transition implementation plans for the devolved forestry functions,” noted Prof Wakhungu.
She urged Governor Peter Munya who is also the Council of Governors chairman to lead by example by finalising and endorsing the plan for Meru County. She assured Kenyans that the recently enacted Forest Conservation and Management Act 2016 will contribute to the growth of the forest sector.
The Act provides for registration of private forests and creates a raft of incentives for persons with interest to invest in forestry development.
The CS encouraged communities and members of the Community Forest Association to continue partnering with Kenya Forest Service in protecting and conserving forests.
She observed that 250 Community Forest Associations have so far been established countrywide, and are actively involved in forest rehabilitation, protection and to establish commercial plantation forests through Plantations Establishment for Livelihood Improvement Scheme.
She said such engagements between the government and communities will continue to be supported by the Ministry at all times. More than 800 thousand seedlings were planted during the launch of this year’s national tree planting season in Eastern region.