TAITA, KENYA: The Chief Conservator of Forests Julius Kamau has presided over the Mwambirwa-Mbololo (Mwambo) Participatory Forest Management Plan 2020-2024 and signing of the Mwambirwa-Mbololo Forest Management Agreement held in Tausa, Taita Taveta County.
This Participatory Forest Management Plan (PFMP) is unique because of the proximity of the two forests, Mwambirwa and Mbololo.
Mbololo Forest is a state-owned government forest under the jurisdiction of KFS and Mwambirwa is a County Government forest but they are both managed under one CFA.
In his speech, the CCF applauded the County for it was the first time when a PFMP has been launched while witnessing a CFA signing two Forest Management agreements between the National Government and a County Government.
“This is a big milestone for KFS and Taita Taveta County Government based on the Forest Management Act 2016. We are glad that this County will be a model for us to follow in other counties where the forest ownership cuts across the two levels of government.” Mr. Kamau lamented.
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Taita-Taveta County was also the first County in the country to sign the Transition Implementation Plan (TIPs) and have begun implementing the plan by employing 10 officers to undertake Forestry and Climate Change functions in the County.
The CCF thanked the County for employing officers and urged the CEC to sponsor them to undergo advanced training at the Kenya Forestry College, Londiani, which is the technical training arm of KFS in matters, Forest Conservation and Management.
Kamau affirmed that KFS would assist the community in beaconing and establishing a boundary with support from both the KFS and county survey departments. He also urged the newly employed staff and KFS staff in the county to work hand in hand with the CFA community scouts and promised that The Service will assist them in forest law enforcement training.
“As we launch this plan, I want to thank the community for embracing this Plan and urge them to emphasize on the implementation of the PFMP as it is them who are the main beneficiaries of it,” Taita Taveta County Water, Sanitation, Environment, Climate-Change and Natural Resources CEC Ms. Esther Mwang’ombe Mwang’ombe said in her speech.
“We are committed to ensuring that our forests are well conserved and managed and in light of this we employed new officers to help us achieve this and we thank JICA and CADEP-SFM, as they have promised to train and build capacity for these new employees.”
The PFMP was developed through a participatory planning process involving a cross-section of Mwambirwa and Mbololo stakeholders under the coordination of a local planning team comprising representatives from KFS, the County Government of Taita Taveta, and the local community through the New Mwambo Community Forest Association.
KFS co-funded and facilitated the planning process and provided the technical assistance required to develop the plan. JICA funded the plan development and guided the whole process. Others who provided support and guidance to this process were, CADEP-SFM, KEFRI, the Taita-Taveta County Government, and the local community.
CCF was joined by the Taita Taveta County Water, Sanitation, Environment, Climate-Change, and Natural Resources CEC Ms. Esther Mwang’ombe, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Senior Representative Mr. Tomoyuki Yasuda and Capacity Development Project for Sustainable Forest Management (CADEP-SFM) Chief Technical Advisor Mr. Keiicho Takahata.