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KENYA TO END SIX-YEAR-OLD LOGGING BAN IN JULY
April 16th, Kenya’s Forestry Permanent Secretary Kimotho Kimani announced that the ban on logging in forests, imposed six years ago, will be lifted in July, according to The Star newspaper in Nairobi, Kenya (4-16-23). Kimani said the move will allow licensed sawmillers to resume harvesting mature trees from both public and private forests.
Kimani said the government imposed a moratorium on logging public and community forests six years ago with the aim of protecting existing forests, as the country hoped to achieve 10% forest cover.
According to the report, the lifting of the logging ban will be a major relief to sawmillers and timber merchants in the country who had complained that the ban had caused massive job losses in the once lucrative sector. Since the ban on logging in all public and community forests came into effect, wood has been scarce, causing a ripple effect on the construction industry in Kenya.
“Before July, the government will put into place a policy on how the harvesting of mature and overgrown tree plantations will be done in public and community forests,” Kimani said. The harvesting of trees in the public forests shall be done in an open and transparent and accountable manner to ensure value for money, Kimani explained. “We will not do it carelessly as was done previously because we want to ensure we increase our forest cover to required levels while allowing the harvesting in a regulated manner.”
Kimani also announced that 2.9 million tree seeds will be distributed to 100 Tvet institutions in North Rift, Nyanza, and the Western region for planting to help the government meet its target of 5 billion this year.