CS Soipan Tuya Calls for Forest Protection in Collaboration with KFS and CFAs

The Cabinet Secretary, Soipan Tuya, delivered a compelling message during an event organized by the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) and the State Department of Climate Change, Environment, and Forestry at Karura Forest. The focus of the event was on the importance of environmental restoration through tree planting and conservation efforts. CS Soipan Tuya, leading the event, emphasized the need to achieve the ambitious goal of planting 15 billion trees, as set by President William Ruto.

During the event, CS Soipan Tuya provided clarification on the logging moratorium that had been imposed due to illegal activities in the forests. The moratorium has been partially lifted to allow for the extraction of already decaying logs in commercial forests. However, she stressed that only 6% of the forests are designated for commercial use, while the remaining 94% should be conserved due to their crucial role in Kenya’s biodiversity.

CS Soipan Tuya highlighted the urgency of addressing and managing the illegal logging activities in the forests, urging the KFS to take stern action against those involved. She also revealed plans to establish the National Government Constituencies Development Fund (NCDF), which will assist in setting up a “green army” dedicated to conservation efforts at the constituency level.

“Our goal is to increase Kenya’s tree cover from the current 3% to 30% by 2032. To achieve this, we need collective action, with every individual playing a key role in tree planting activities,” stated CS Soipan.

The Cabinet Secretary further elaborated on the ministry’s initiatives to promote environmental conservation. These include establishing 18 fully equipped seed centers across the country and providing people with seedlings of fruit, exotic, and indigenous trees to encourage their active participation in conservation and tree planting efforts.

Addressing Forest Challenges, the CS emphasized the need to rally the public and make the transition toward tree planting more visible, audible, and attainable. To meet the target of planting 15 billion trees, she encouraged every Kenyan to plant 30 trees per year, which would amount to 300 trees per person in ten years.

She suggested incorporating tree planting into birthday celebrations and events throughout the year.

Forest fires have become a major concern, particularly during prolonged drought, posing threats to people, animals, and the environment. Incidents of forest fires have been witnessed in the Mau and Aberdares forests.

However, with support from the French government, these fires were promptly addressed through the provision of equipment, capacity building, and watchtowers. CS Soipan Tuya emphasized the need for increased efforts to prevent significant habitat losses for wildlife.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports, each country’s National Determined Contributions (NDCs) will only account for approximately one-third of the required climate change action. CS Soipan Tuya hinted at the need for further efforts to mitigate the unforeseen impacts of climate change on people and the environment.

She recalled the words of United Nations Secretary Antonio Guterres, who stressed the importance of collective action in preserving and protecting our planet and nature.

In response to climate change impacts, the Ministry of Climate, Environment, and Forestry plans to establish a multi-agency task force dedicated to addressing malpractices in the forests with urgency and strictness.

CS Soipan Tuya commended the government’s recruitment of Forest Rangers, whose role is vital in addressing illegal activities and protecting the environment. She expressed optimism that the enrollment of Cadets in the sector would further strengthen their conservation efforts.

Kenya, having banned the use of plastic, is in a favorable position. This achievement reflects the government’s commitment and progress toward achieving sustainable development goals by 2030.

In conclusion, CS Soipan Tuya believes that environmental destruction is a matter of life and death, as evidenced by the impacts of climate change. She suggests that environmental crimes, referred to as “Ecoside,” should be treated as serious offenses, similar to genocide, in order to deter actions that undermine conservation efforts.

“This journey is achievable if every Kenyan recognizes the value of planting trees and willingly participates. Together, let’s transform Kenya,” stated CS Soipan Tuya.

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