KFS Chief Conservator Calls For Forests GDP Inclusion

The Kenya Forest Service (KFS) Chief Conservator Julius Kamau has urged for the addition of the contribution of forest resources to the Gross Domestic Product.

Emphasizing that forests play a critical role in the provision of goods and services to the country as he says all other services and goods provided by forest resources are not valued.

Urging that is currently on record that forests contribute to about 3.6 percent of the GDP and this is only the productive wood.

Also citing that Kenya Forest Service (KFS) manages 6.4 million acres of forests and helps counties manage another 4.2 million acres.

“The contribution, for example, of water conservation, food security, regulating climate, hydropower generation, biodiversity conservation and in supporting tourism sector, manufacturing has not been accounted for,” Kamau says.

The Chief Conservator Kenya Forest Service further highlights the need for a total valuation of forest resources and the contribution they make to the economy and other sectors. Which must be incorporated into the national accounting system so that the system recognizes the green accounting that will be conducted within the forest sector.

“There is an anticipation that if we did the valuation, the contribution would possibly move from 3.6 percent to the GDP to around 13 percent. That will be a very big leap, it can now allow Kenya Forest Service (KFS) to be able to attract funding from the exchequer,” Kamau says.

Lauding the move by the government to plant 15 billion trees by 2032 at a cost of Sh500 billion seeking to restore 10.6 million hectares of the degraded landscape for improved biodiversity and climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Mr. Julius Kamau also adds that it’s better to note forests regulate ecosystems, protect biodiversity, play an integral part in the carbon cycle, support livelihoods, and help drive sustainable growth.

Results generated from the recent National Forest Resources Assessment 2021 indicate that Kenya has 7,180,000.66ha of tree cover, representing 12.13 percent of the total area.

From the assessment, up to 37 counties out of the 47 (79 percent) have a tree cover percentage greater than the constitutional set target of 10 percent.

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