Wednesday, 16 December 2020
FSC Africa Director meets with Kenya Forest Service
FSC started discussions with Kenya Forest Service (KFS) to assess potential collaboration
and possible commencement of the certification process for forests in Kenya.
On November 25th in Nairobi, the Kenya FSC Regional Director for Africa, Prof. Harrison Kojwang had a meeting with the Chief Conservator of Forests Mr. Julius Kamau. Prof. Kojwang and Mr Kamau agreed that the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) would commence engagement with FSC in a pilot program to certify Aberdares forest ecosystem and the Eburru forest to verify it's ecosystems standards. Mr Julius Kamau noted that KFS, as the national steward and policy driver on forestry matters, has developed an open approach to the current trends of global forest management practices which will put the country at the forefront in enhancing the value of forest resources both goods and ecological services.
"As a Service, we aim to demonstrate the value of sustainable management of forest resources to the strategic benefit of the country through international standards for certification, and enhance engagement with investors both locally and internationally to promote the sector, especially in agroforestry," noted Kamau, while citing the bamboo industry as an apparent beneficiary.
The two noted that Kenya has great potential to certify it's forests to international standards through Forest Management Certification as one of the certificate models which confirms that a particular forest block or area is being managed in a manner that preserves biological diversity and benefits the lives of local people and workers while ensuring it sustains economic viability.
Prof Harrison Kojwang' noted that the principles and criteria for forest stewardship are designed to serve as a common starting point for developing National Forest Stewardship Standards.
The meeting agreed that a team of forestry experts drawn from the two institutions will engage in finding all possible candidate forest types including plantations and natural ecosystems, and map the areas to develop a masterplan for resource mobilization towards certification.
The Chief Conservator of Forests noted that through the certification avenue, the Kenya Forest Service would best demonstrate the value of sustainable forest conservation, management, and protection. Certification will also highlight revenue streams through ecosystem services which would benefit conservation efforts in the country by reducing pressure on forest resources through logging that has been the notion all through on how revenue can be generated from forest resources.
The meeting also explored models for certification of sustainable charcoal production to enhance private agroforestry to enhance livelihood.
In Africa, FSC is instrumental in facilitating Namibia's dry woodland sector through certification making it the only country in Africa to sustainably export charcoal to Europe. The Council is vastly established in the Congo Basin with over 5.4 million Ha of forests certified, South Africa (3.8million Ha certified), Gabon, Namibia, Mozambique, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Kenya as its latest frontier.
The meeting was attended by senior officers from the two organizations comprising of the Ag. Senior Deputy Chief Conservator of Forests Mr. Patrick Kariuki and FSC's Labour Manager Mr. Paul Opanga.