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Kenya Forest Service signs 68 pacts with communities

By Standard Reporter | January 11th 2015

The Kenya Forest Service (KFS) has signed 68 forest management plans with several communities within the forest eco-system to boost their socio-economic livelihoods.

The State agency’s acting director Emilio Mugo said the arrangement provides a mutual agreement between Community Forest Associations and the KFS on sustainable management of gazetted forests for the benefit of communities who help KFS to protect forests.

“The Forest Management Agreements (FMA) outline the benefits and responsibilities of both KFS and communities in the management of gazetted forests. Mugo said key components of the plans includes eco-tourism and recreational activities, collection of medicinal herbs, collection of firewood, water abstraction, bee keeping, grazing, collection of forest produce for community based industries and contracts to carry out specified agricultural operations.

The Forests Act of 2005 also provides for the participation of forest adjacent communities in the management of county forests. In this respect, he noted that the county governments are expected to enter into FMA with the community forest associations in the respective county forests. Mugo recently witnessed the signing of FMA between KFS  and the communities in Laikipia, Meru and Embu counties.

The associations include Lusoi Hill and Mukogodo in Laikipia County, Ontulili in Meru County and Irangi and Njukiiri in Embu County. The Service also signed forest management agreements for Nairotia in Narok County and Kiambicho and Karua Hill in central Kenya.

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