United Kingdom to support Mau forest conservation

An Aerial view of Maasai Mau Forest. [File, Standard]

Efforts to conserve forest resources in Kenya this week received a huge boost after an announcement that Mau Forest Complex has been admitted into the Queen's Commonwealth Canopy.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, to President Uhuru Kenyatta, relayed the information through communication.

KFS Board Chairman Mr Peter Kinyua noted that this admission is a great landmark and presents a great funding opportunity to complement government forest conservation efforts.

The Chief Conservator of Forests, Julius Kamau has welcomed the news as a timely, encouraging and a great milestone towards the conservation of the critical Mau ecosystem.

He pointed out that through Her Majesty the Queen's admission, the conservation, and protection of mau complex will be profiled to harness unity of purpose from the commonwealth countries and globally to enhance awareness creation as well as greatly contribute to the fulfilment of achieving the National target of 10 per cent forest cover

The Mau Forest Complex is the largest forest ecosystem and the most important Water Tower in Kenya, covering approximately 455,000ha.

It comprises of 22 forest blocks and is a key water catchment area, with 12 rivers feeding into major lakes in Kenya and parts of Western Kenya. It is a globally recognised UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The forest complex faces tremendous pressures and large amounts of forest destruction.

Last year government carried out evictions in Narok South and North in an exercise which targeted 60,000 people in a bid to reclaim 17,000 acres of land.

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