Kenyans have been challenged to get involved in participatory forest management in order to reap benefits accruing from forests in line with the Forests Act 2005.
Speaking during a series of participatory forest management plans launch events in North Rift Conservancy, Kenya Forest Service Director Mr. D K Mbugua said the Service was bringing communities on board to reinforce gains in forest management.
He said the avenue of engaging communities is only through community forest associations where all forest cost-benefit initiatives will be channeled.
“No activities whatsoever will take place in any forest without a participatory management plan,” said Mr. Mbugua
The management plan is a document that outlines what activities to undertake in a specific forest in a specified time period.
There are also integrated forest management plans that outline activities in two or more stations.
Generating a participatory forest management plan involves various stakeholders including CFAs, KFS, other Government agencies and NGOs whose operations may affect a specific forest.
The process is grossly demanding and involving also requiring a substantial amount of money to roll out.
The processes of generating the recently launched participatory management plans in North Rift Conservancy were funded by several partners including Green Zones Development Support Project a partnership between the Kenya Government and Africa Development Bank.
GZDSP funded two PFMPs. These are Saboti-Sosio forest with an area of 13,764.25 Ha. The second plan, South Nandi integrated forest management plan was co-funded with additional support from Nature Kenya.
Upon launch of the participatory forest management plan, the CFA then generate and sign a forest management agreement that stipulates the roles and responsibilities of parties in the implementation phase.
Mr. Mbugua called for increased public awareness through education forums with the community to enable comprehension of the participatory forest management process and eliminate myths.
By Charles Ngunjiri CCO