Cabinet extends logging ban for the second time

President Uhuru Kenyatta. FILE PHOTO | NMG

The Cabinet has brushed off pleas by lawmakers and extended the ban on logging in public forests in a Thursday resolution set to keep wood prices up.

A dispatch after a Cabinet meeting, chaired by President Uhuru Kenyatta, indicated the moratorium, which was to expire on Sunday following a year’s extension in November last year, will remain in place to allow for maturity of forests.

The House committee on Environment and Natural Resources had in June called on the Environment ministry to partially lift the ban to allow Kenya Forest Service (KFS) sell mature trees which “were rotting” in some forests. The current ban was first imposed in February 2018 following a public outcry over illegal logging blamed for diminishing water levels in the country's key rivers.

“Cabinet also approved the extension of the ban on logging by one year. However, the Ministry of Environment was directed to establish an inter-agency team to undertake an assessment of mature forests that are ready for harvesting and report back to Cabinet by April 2020,” Presidential Strategic and Communication Unit (PSCU) said.

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