Kenya launches portal on forest cover, pledges action against illegal loggers
01 August 2016, 16:24
Nairobioi (Xinhua) -- The Kenyan government in
partnership with a local conservation lobby has launched an
electronic portal detailing the geographical spread of forest
Senior officials and conservationists said the portal will help
disseminate accurate information on forest cover to end users like
policymakers, researchers and communities.
The Deputy Director in charge of corporate services at Kenya
Forest Service (KFS), Lucy Kiboi said an electronic inventory on
forests will strengthen their prudent use by communities and
"An online portal on forests will help bridge knowledge and
information gaps that have often derailed their sustainable
management," said Kiboi adding that participatory forestry
management is key to realize sustainable development.
Kenya Forest Service partnered with East African Wildlife
Society (EAWLS) to conduct a comprehensive survey of Kenyan forests
that culminated in the launch of the electronic portal.
Kiboi said the one stop digital platform contains accurate
information on the state of forests in Kenya.
"Stakeholders will update information contained in the
electronic forests portal on a regular basis. It will inform
policymakers on the evolving dynamics in forestry management," said
Kenya's forest cover stood at 6.9 percent by 2015 and there are
concerted efforts by the government to expand it and reach the UN
target of 10 percent.
Kiboi noted that Kenya's forest ecosystem is grappling with
grave threats linked to population pressure, climate change and
uncoordinated conservation practices.
"Our forest cover has either been shrinking or stagnant for a
long time due to human actions and it is high time we reviewed
policy and regulatory regime governing their management," remarked
She added that Kenya has prioritized conservation of its
mountain rainforests, savannah woodlands and coastal mangroves in a
bid to catalyze low carbon development.
The launch of an electronic portal containing information on
Kenya's forest resources will boost transparency in their
utilization by communities and timber industry.
The Director of East African Wildlife Society, Julius Kamau said
timely access to forest related information will help eliminate
malpractices that undermine management of the resource.
"Access to and provision of high quality forest related
information is crucial for sustainable management of the resource.
It will be in the long-run improve forest governance in Kenya,"