|Mr. Lawrence Mwadime the Director of Administration in the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife and Ms Irene Otieno who was the Chief Child Guest at the event prepare to sign a Memorundum of Understanding on the children's resolve to plant trees|
The views of children as key stakeholders’ in Forest management have more often than not been left out in the management of natural resources including forests. The world, as declared at the United Nations Forum on Forests, recognizes that the most vulnerable to negative impacts in forests are children, youth and women. It is against this backdrop that the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife (MFW), Kenya Forest Service (KFS) and Ministry of Gender Children and Social Services came together to organize this activity, the “Children Voices Conference in National Forestry Programming”, that gave a voice to children. The event that involved over 100 children from different counties in Kenya was held at Karura Forest Environmental Education Trust (KFEET) Grounds 7th January 2012.
KFS in collaboration with the MFW was proud to be at the forefront of engaging with children in policy making as stipulated in the new constitutional dispensation. Hence bringing on board the children assembly which is a unique concept that recognizes the future of forestry conservation and management lies in the future. Mr. Lawrence Mwadime, the Director of Administration, MFW reiterated that by taking into perspective the views of children as key stakeholders will be important in enhancing efforts to increase tree and forest cover in order to attain the 10% tree cover target set out in the constitution and Vision 2030.
In a Children’s Memorandum presented by Irene Otieno, the Chief Child Guest, to Mr. Lawrence Mwadime, the children stated that “children of Kenya have decided to talk about forests now, tomorrow and many years to come. This we can do by voicing our views, opinions and recommendations towards conserving our forests. We state our resolution Vision 2030 – 2050, meant to plant trees and conserve our environment,” she said.
Story and picture by Maureen Amenya