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Kenya Forest Service targets to plant 2 billion trees

RIFT VALLEY
By Stephen Rutto | December 25th 2019

The Kenya Forest Service (KFS) has rolled out a plan to plant over two billion trees in the next three years.

This is in an effort to boost the country's forest cover to internationally-agreed standards.

According to KFS, the tree-planting exercise aims at boosting the country’s forest cover from the current 7.2 per cent through enhanced tree planting campaigns and strict enforcement of moratorium on logging in gazetted forests.

Plantation Establishment and Livelihood Improvement Scheme (PELIS), the KFS forest management programme that allows farmers living adjacent to forests to practice farming in depleted sections as they nurture trees, remains banned as the state agencies take full control of forests.

KFS board member Joel Laigong said the 10 per cent forest cover was initially to be achieved by 2030, but was reduced by eight years, calling for the accelerated tree-planting exercises.

Mr Laigong said two billion trees by 2022 will be achieved if each of the 47 million Kenyans plant at least seven tree seedlings every year for the next three years. In November, the State extended the ban on logging in forests for another one year, spelling doom for saw millers who depend on logging for raw materials.

“President Uhuru Kenyatta had issued instructions for more trees to be planted for the country to achieve internationally agreed forest cover,” said Laigong, adding that KFS was evaluating the PELIS system before deciding on whether to re-introduce it or not.

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