Monday, June 13, 2011

MMUST Hosts International Conference on Tropical Forest Resources

The Assistant Zonal Manager for Kakamega Forest Zone Mrs. Alice Ingutta mans the KFS exhibition stand at the conference

Delegates take part in a session during the conference that took place at Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST)

Masinde Muiliro Univesity of Science and Technology (MMUST) hosted an international conference on Tropical Forest Resources at Kakamega that ran from 6th to 9th of June 2011. The conference which was dubbed, Forest Biodiversity, Conservation and Climate Change, was primarily to highlight the causes and impacts of deforestation of tropical forests and the role that the local communities and that of the University must play so as to conserve the Kakamega Forest for the future generations.
The conference was used to establish the roles of the Kakamega Forest Study Centre a research department that has been established in the University which would train on Science and Technology in Forest Biodiversity Studies, as well as, designing a comprehensive conservation program that will protect and enhance tropical forest biodiversity assets that are essential to the society and locals within Kakamega Forest.
Mrs. Mercelyne Khalumba, Assistant to the Head of Economics, Planning and Investment Promotion at Kenya Forest Service (KFS), made presentations at the Conference on Design Principles and Auction of Forest User Rights Management of Tropical Rain Forests in Kenya and Auctions of Forest User Rights. In her presentation she said that the shift from state control of forests to participatory forest management had led to the design of principles on auction of user rights for forest products. She added that little was known about the influence of auction of forest user rights to individual households in management and sustainable utilization of forest resources.
The Zonal Manager, Kakamega Forest Zone Mr. Mwai Muraguri also made a presentation on the current status of the Kakamega Forest which falls under the jurisdiction of  KFS, said that the communities living adjacent to the forest had promoted its conservation through the formation of a Community Forest Association (CFA) which was at the forefront of advocating for tree planting while encouraging the sustainable utilization of forest products.

Article and pictures by Ken Gichuki

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