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KFS officer interdicted over illegal logging

By Fredrick Obura | January 4th 2021

Charcoal merchants and loggers have continued to deplete the vegetation exposing the locals to adverse effects of environment degradation. [Kevin Tunoi/Standard]

NAIROBI, KENYA: Chief Conservator of Forest Mr. Julius Kamau has ordered interdiction of forest officer adversely mentioned in connection to forest destruction.

The officer was interdicted upon a review of a report from a rapid response team recently deployed to Sachangwan beat to verify information on illegal logging.

The task of the rapid response team that comprised of KFS security officers was also to propose immediate corrective and mitigative actions. The team established that an indigenous Cedar tree had been felled and split into about 70 posts.

“The CCF has directed immediate interdiction of the officer-involved pending further investigations to establish if any other individuals were involved in the crime,” read a communication from KFS. Adding that the forest crime is also under investigation by the National Police Service.

The government imposed a moratorium on logging in public and community forests in 2018. The moratorium drew criticism from saw millers and timber products merchants who complained the ban had caused massive job losses.
Last month the Ministry of Environment and Forestry allowed for harvesting and disposal of mature and over-mature forest plantations for an area not exceeding 5000 hectares.

“Having considered the recommendations of both the Board of Management of Kenya Forest Service and multi-agency on mapping, verification, and valuation of mature and over-mature forest plantations, the government has decided that the Moratorium on logging in public and community forests shall continue but varied and or modified to allow for harvesting and disposal of mature forest plantations,” said CS Keriako Tobiko.

He said the harvesting and disposal shall be oversighted by a multi-agency team and done in a manner that is open, transparent, and accountable and ensure value for money.

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