Kenya Forest Services sets conditions for logging trees
A day after President William Ruto lifted a six-year ban on logging, the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) has set conditions for the harvesting of mature trees in gazetted forests.
According to the KFS, forest plantations make up six percent of Kenya’s gazetted forest estate and the exotic tree species have a rotation period of 25 to 30 years, after which they begin to rot if not harvested.
“A detailed harvesting security plan for access, control and monitoring of actual harvesting and reporting has been put in place. As part of the plan, entry certificates will be presented to forest station managers prior to the removal of forest products,” the forest department said.
In its statement, which is in line with President Ruto’s directives, the Forest Service said it was using felling plans to harvest a maximum of 5,000 hectares per year, ensuring that the government benefits from investments in forest plantations.
The areas harvested will then be replanted, just as directed by the President.
In addition, management said it has already automated the process of issuing plantation harvesting licences, which is done through the District Forest Conservators.
The payment of taxes has also been automated to ensure compliance with government tax regulations.
“Upon completion of logging and removal of materials, exit certificates will be issued as evidence of compliance with all requirements.”
According to KFS, the inventory undertaken from 2020 to 2022 revealed a large number of mature and over –mature forest plantations.
“As per the Forest Conservation and Management Act, 2016, the KFS has a responsibility to manage and utilize forest plantations and ensure they are profitable.”
Following the outcome of its finding, KFS stated that the disposal of matured materials is in compliance with the Forest Conservation and Management Act 2016.
Further, the management said that e-registration of sawmillers was undertaken leading to prequalification of applicants into various categories based on respective capacities.
When President announced the plan to harvest matured trees, he said that his administration has put in place mechanism to plant more trees across the country.