Forests influence climate, landform and soil composition and they exist in a wide variety. Each forest type has its own uniqueness and together these forests complement one another and perform the various socio-economic, ecological, environmental, cultural and spiritual functions.
Therefore it is necessary for Kenya to develop harmonised approaches in the management, conservation and sustainable development of forests is essential to meet the socio-economic and environmental needs of the present and future generations. To achieve this we have realised, among others, the need to sustain the multiple roles and functions of all types of forests, as well as the need to enhance forest conservation, management, and forest cover as outlined.
(a) To strengthen efforts in forest conservation and the sustainable management of forest resources, it is imperative to ensure the participation of local community and other stakeholders through participatory Forests management approaches and that all national policy and strategies must indicate the forest area set aside for forest conservation and in the sustainable production of forest goods and services.
(b) To further ensure sustainable forest conservation and sustainable forest management, the prices of timber and timber products at the market place must fully reflect both their replacement and environmental costs, and that trade in forest products should be non-discriminatory. Moreover, expenses needed for sustainable forest management, including reforestation and afforestation must be included into the cost of all kinds of production obtained from the forest resources.
(c) In order to ensure the sharing on mutually agreed terms of benefits, of products derived from the utilisation of forest biodiversity, efficient and cost-effective methodologies should be developed to assess the biological resources of forests at the genetic, species and ecosystem levels, including the development of techniques to ascribe economic values to these resources.
Enhancement of Forest Cover
(a) Maintaining and enhancing forest cover, reforestation or afforestation will incur costs, either from opportunities foregone for alternative uses, or from benefits lost from existing land uses. Policy responses must take this into account. The legitimate rights of counties over their natural resources must be upheld. An equitable framework must be found to provide adequate compensation to those counties who undertake action to sustainably manage their forests in the wider interests of national environmental enhancement.
(b) All counties should work towards increasing their forest cover to 10% as per the Constitution of Kenya 2010 and be achieved over a speci- fied time-frame and actions be taken to prepare and implement national forestry action programmes and/or plans for the management, conservation and sustainable development of forests. Counties having less than 10 per cent of their land areas under forest cover, but have the means must undertake concerted efforts to increase their forest cover.