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Joint Assertion on the Proposed Modification to Kenya’s Forest Legislation by the Conservation Sector


24th January 2022

We, the undersigned main private and non-private organizations involved with the conservation and administration of forests in Kenya, are alarmed by a call by the Parliamentary Procedures and Home Guidelines Committee to provoke a transfer to amend part 34 of the Forest Conservation and Administration Act (2016).

The present Part 34(2A) requests that any proposed public forest boundary alteration or excision: shall solely be thought of by the Nationwide Meeting upon the technical advice by the Kenya Forest Service (KFS).

The present Forest Act and its Part 34(2A) have been fastidiously drafted in response to arbitrary excisions that led to wanton destruction of forests within the Nineties and early 2000s. Certainly, earlier than the introduction of the above necessities set in Part 34 of the Act, roughly 5,000 hectares of public forests have been excised yearly, representing an space 5 instances the dimensions of Karura Forest Reserve. Unwarranted excisions culminated in 2001 with over 65,000 hectares of public land excised in at some point. For the reason that introduction of the above necessities within the Forest Act of 2005 after which the Forest Conservation and Administration Act of 2016, no authorized excision of a public forest has taken place. This has made most of the people and Worldwide Neighborhood have excessive regards to the nationwide aspiration to preserve and shield forests. This acquire is prone to be misplaced by the proposed change.

The proposed modification seeks to repeal Part 34(2A) which gives that any petition to change boundaries or excise public forests or a portion thereof shall solely be thought of by the Nationwide Meeting upon technical advice by the Kenya Forest Service. The proposed modification seeks to vest the ability to find out the destiny of any such petitions on the Clerk of the Nationwide Meeting and the Parliamentary Procedures and Home Guidelines Committee with out session with the Kenya Forest Service, which is the federal government’s lead knowledgeable company on forestry.

It’s value noting that the proposed modification contravenes the Petitions to Parliament (Process) Act (2012), part 3(f) which requires that such issues ought to be determined by Parliament in session with the related state company, which in such issues is the Kenya Forest Service.

We, the undersigned main private and non-private organisations involved with the conservation and administration of forests in Kenya, STRONGLY OPPOSE the supposed adjustments to the Forest Conservation and Administration Act and demand that the mentioned amendments be withdrawn forthwith for the sake the conservation of our forests and our well-being.

Forests are very important bastions of biodiversity.  Though they cowl solely 7.4% of Kenya’s land space, they harbour a disproportionate quantity of Kenya’s biodiversity by way of fauna and flora species. Forests host an estimated 50% of all woody vegetation, 40% of all massive mammals 30% of the birds and 35% of the butterflies. Our forests present a variety of ecosystem companies which can be crucial for environmental stability, our well-being and our financial improvement. Our forests are very important for the nation’s water assets.  They’re the water catchments of all principal rivers in Kenya, offering the much-needed water in assist of key financial sectors, together with agriculture, power, business and tourism.  The ecosystem companies supplied by our key mountain forests alone, generally known as Kenya’s 5 ‘water towers’, are valued at KES 621 billion yearly. Certainly, forests are the bedrock for financial improvement and authorities Agenda 4.

The forestry sector alone contributes some 3.6% to the nation’s Gross Home Product (GDP) and immediately employs some 350,000 folks yearly.

Wanting ahead, our forests mitigate the adverse results of local weather change and cut back our vulnerability to excessive climate occasions, together with droughts and floods. Kenya included forest safety within the 2010 Structure to emphasize the socio-economic and ecological significance of forests to our well-being and financial improvement.

Passing the proposed amendments would imply that the Kenya Forest Service will lose its energy to evaluation and sanction any proposed public forest boundary alteration earlier than being submitted to the Nationwide Meeting.  This can tremendously weaken the governance mechanisms of our public forests and might be a significant setback of their safety.  Contemplating what Kenya has misplaced previously, any change that weakens, slightly than strengthens the mechanisms to guard our forests, is ill-advised. The nation has dedicated to growing forest and tree cowl by means of the Nationwide Decided Contribution along with different Worldwide Conventions. Any attainable loss in forest cowl ought to be opposed. Legislations that make it simple to fluctuate a forest’s boundary are a hazard to forest conservation in Kenya.

We’re fearful that the passing of the proposed modification will take us again to the times earlier than the enactment of the Forest Act of 2005 when forest loss by means of unwarranted excisions was the order of the day. The proposed repeal of Part 34(2A) will open avenues for the grabbing of public forest land.  It should inevitably result in the lack of forests. This can spell doom to our forestry sector and lots of different sectors that rely upon the ecological companies supplied by forests.  It should additionally set a nasty authorized precedent to different pure resource-related insurance policies and legislations such because the Wildlife (Conservation and Administration) Act, 2013 and the Fisheries Administration and Improvement Act, 2016, amongst others, which have related provisions.

We additionally observe that the proposer of the modification has not demonstrated the urgency to amend part 34 of the Forest Act and that the modification has been proposed with out public participation as enshrined within the Structure. We observe that the Ministry of Surroundings and Forestry is within the means of reviewing the Forest Conservation and Administration Act, 2016 and so the piecemeal modification can wait when the stakeholders are reviewing the entire doc.

We want to take this chance to remind the Kenyan Parliament that the nation’s pure assets ought to be protected and prudently managed for the advantage of present and future generations.

We name upon the Parliamentary Procedures and Home Guidelines to WITHDRAW the proposed Modification Invoice forthwith.  We additionally urge Members of Parliament who’ve the general public curiosity at coronary heart to reject the proposed modification to the Forest Conservation and Administration Act of 2016 when it’s introduced earlier than them.

We urge residents of goodwill and different like-minded actors to hitch us to STAND UP AND SHOUT for the safety of our forests and our well-being.

Signed: ——————————–  Date: ——————- Ann Tek: Head of Advocacy and Coverage, KFWG

Signed on behalf of:

An announcement issued collectively by:

  • Kenya Forest Working Group (KFWG)
  • The East African Wild Life Society (EAWLS)
  • World Huge Fund for Nature- Kenya (WWF-Okay)
  • Rhino Ark Kenya Charitable Belief
  • Kenya Forestry Analysis Institute (KEFRI)
  • Nationwide Alliance of Neighborhood Forest Affiliation (NACOFA)
  • Pure Useful resource Discussion board (NAREF)
  • Inexperienced Youngsters’ Museum Kenya
  • Kenya Wildlife Conservancies Affiliation (KWCA)
  • WildlifeDirect
  • Nature Kenya – the EANHS
  • CISSTA Kenya
  • Kwale County Pure Assets Community (KCNRN)
  • Forestry Society of Kenya (FSK)
  • Mount Kenya Belief
  • Wildlife Golf equipment of Kenya, Laikipia
  • Transfo Inexperienced World
  • Forsmart Restricted (Personal Forestry Guide)
  • Kenya Inexperienced College Community
  • Campde Voices
  • Chehe Neighborhood Forest Affiliation
  • Soluzioni Sostenibili Di Energia
  • Buddies of the Lembus Forest
  • Lembus Basis
  • Ngong Highway Forest Neighborhood Forest Affiliation (CFA)
  • Heart for Science and Expertise Innovation (CSTI)
  • Forest Useful resource Worldwide
  • Baringo Water Assets Customers Affiliation (WRUA Council)
  • Conservation Alliance of Kenya (CAK)
  • Mt Kenya Neighborhood Forest Affiliation – Nyeri County
  • Nairobi Forest Conservation Committee (FCC)
  • College of Nairobi, Wangari Mathai Institute of Local weather Change
  • Inexperienced Belt Motion
  • The Surroundings Institute of Kenya
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