Kenya decries bad management of forests

2017-07-25 21:15:32 GMT2017-07-26 05:15:32(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

NAIROBI, July 25 (Xinhua) -- Kenya on Tuesday decriedunsustainable management of forests across the country, warning itcould affect the country's growth prospects.

Environment and Natural Resources Cabinet Secretary ProfessorJudi Wakhungu appealed for serious intervention, saying forests'ability to sustain ecosystem businesses is fast reducing.

"In spite of the role that forests centrally play inenvironmental stability, forest ecosystems businesses areincreasingly under threat from the ever growing pressure to meetanthropological needs," Wakhungu said at the national dialogue onbiodiversity mainstreaming into sectors of the economy.

She observed that the flood regulation functions of forests areincreasingly impaired as impact of climate change becomes even morereal.

"We all have a role in ensuring sustainable forest managementapproaches are deeply entrenched in restoration of landscapesincluding water catchment in both protected, community and privateforests," she noted.

Wakhungu called on forest experts to start mainstreamingbiodiversity into other sectors of the economy and ensurefunctional ecosystems for healthy populations.

She noted that the ultimate reason for mainstreamingbiodiversity into other sectors of the economy is to ensurefunctional ecosystems for healthy human populations andenvironment.

"We have to safeguard lives of the poor people within ourcommunities who are the first to suffer when natural resourcesdisappear or are depleted," she added.

Studies from around the world have shown that women tend to bearthe brunt of such degradation because they often depend most on theavailability of and easy access to water and fuel wood.

While, this happens, she said that business and, hence thenational economy suffer greatly and takes time to recover.

She announced that the government is developing a NationalBiodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP) and also the firstNational Wildlife Conservation Strategy.

Wakhungu also hailed the role played by the private sectoradding that the government welcomes the initiative by the CriticalEcosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) to develop a Long Term Vision toexpand funding mechanism for biodiversity conservation in theEastern Arc Mountains region of Kenya and sustain impacts in thelong term.

Forests host bulk of biodiversity, apart from providing water,sequestrating carbon, providing a base for renewable energy,Hydro-power generation and support other sectors ofdevelopment.

Kenya recently launched the National Forest Program (NFP) toincrease forest and tree cover and reverse forest degradation,enhance forest based economic, social and environment benefits,integrate national values and principles of good governance inforest development while working toward increase forest basedinvestments. Enditem