Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Forestry Reforms Benefit From KSh 2.27 Billion MMMB Funds

The forestry sector in Kenya is set to benefit from KSh 2,270,799,300 through the Miti Mingi Maisha Bora programme, a joint initiative by the Kenya and Finnish governments. The Government of Kenya is contributing KSh. 406,300,300 while the Government of Finland is contributing KSh. 1,864,499,000.

The Miti Mingi Maisha Bora programme that will run in the next five years is currently in the first year of implementation and will focus on support to

µ       forest sector policy development and coordination processes
µ       implementation of KFS institutional change process
µ       management of utilization of gazetted forest reserves and
µ       improved livelihoods in arid and semi arid lands through sustainable production and trade in bio-energy and other forest products

The programme brings together the main players in the forestry sector management in Kenya, including the Kenya Forest Service that is the organization mandated to conserve, develop and sustainably manage forestry resources; Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife, Kenya Forestry College, and KEFRI. The project also brings on board learning institutions and some nature based NGOs.   

Some of the critical interventions envisaged through the project include support to forest policy development in conformity to the new constitution, strengthen governance structures at Board and Forest Conservation Committees levels through corporate governance training, management systems design and operationalization, establish mechanisms for concession management for plantations and timber licensing, and provide essential support to small and medium sizes companies in the forestry sector.

“We will be able actualize community participation in forestry management at the grassroots level, and improve their livelihoods through forest enterprise establishment especially in the ASALs,” says the Programme Manager, Ms. Zipporah Toroitich.

She says the programme will also focus on improving the value chain of forest products with specific reference to charcoal production chain.

The forestry sector in Kenya has greatly benefited Finnish support since the 1960s. Some indicative past forestry programmes supported by the both the Kenya and Finnish Governments include the Bura Fuelwood Project 1986-93, Intensified Forestry Extension (Miti Mingi Mashambani) project 1990 – 1995, Forest Industrial Training Centre (FITC) 1979 – 1989, and Kenya-Finland Forestry Programme 1996 – 1998.

Report by C.Ngunjiri (Communications Officer- MMMB)

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