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Community incorporated in conservation process

By Peter Kahare - 09 Oct 2011 14:0:12 GMT
Community incorporated in conservation process

Flag of Kenya via Shutterstock

Kenya Forest Services has signed three crucial agreements with Community Forests Associations from three forest blocks in the World renowned Mau, Bahati and Ndundulu forests.

The agreements bring the community on board in the management, protection and conservation of Eburu forest block in Mau water catchment, Bahati and Ndunduri forest blocks where members of the CFAs will take an active role in conservation.

The agreement signed Friday the 7th October ensures that conservation of the three forest blocks is done in a legal structure that has been lacking in the past.

Deputy director Kenya Forest Service Dr Essau Omolo said during the signing of the agreements at Nakuru conservancy headquarters that forest management had been centrally managed in the past something that alienated the community besides being expensive undertaking.

"The new agreements now create structures through which CFAs will manage forests, the members will be trained and given resources to conserve and protect the forests." Said Omolo.

Omolo said that the KFS shall ensure there are no hurdles between KFS and CFAs as they work towards restoration of heavily depleted forests like Mau and Bahati. He noted that communities living around the Mau Forest had poorly managed the water source in the past due to lack of structures and commitment.

Omolo added that through international organizations, CFAs members shall be trained in protection, management and conservation.

Head of Regional conservancy Brigadier Osborn Ndunde said that Bahati forest measure 6, 866.1 hectares, Ndunduri 3, 609.1 hectares and Eburu 6000 hectares.

Ndunde said that the areas covered by the forest are densely populated the reason why there is a need to have a working relation between the community and KFS in conservation.

Omolo stated that an agreement between KFS and members of the community around Sululu forest block of Mau forest shall follow.

A Community Forest Association at Longoman forest block in Mau forest was recently disbanded by KFS due to abusing an agreement signed between them.

"That is how serious these agreements are, the signatories are bound by the stipulated regulations, and one party can even end up in court due to contravention." Said Omolo.

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Topics: Deforestation