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Lobby Wants Bill to Open Forests for Grabbing Halted

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By Shadrack Nyakoe

The Kenya Forests Service has castigated the parliamentary proposed amendment bill by a section of legislatures seeking to repel a section of the forest conservation and management act that protects the forests from boundary variations and excisions.

The proposed amendment to the Forest Conservation and Management Act contained in an amendment Bill 2021 published by Moses Cheboi, Chairperson of the Procedures and Rules Committee.

“Removing Kenya Forest Service from decisions on forest boundaries is ill advised, ill-timed and will expose Kenya’s forests to greedy individuals whose actions could damage Kenya’s water catchment areas, hydro-electricity, irrigated food and thereby human well-being and economic development,” they said.

This will open up the forests for grabbing and will not only lose water catchment areas but it will be a step backwards in the climate change fight.

 According to the existing law a forest boundary can only be amended based on stakeholder consultations, environmental impact assessment report and recommendations to parliament by the Kenya Forest Service.

The proposed amendment is seeking to take away the powers of the Kenya Forest Service and instead allows anyone to petition for a boundary change to the Clerk of the National Assembly.

The world is burning and forests are one tool to reduce the heat.

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