Global agency seeks to certify Kenya forests


Destruction of forests lead to a water crisis and hurt food production. FILE PHOTO | NMG

A global environment agency will Tuesday open talks in Nairobi to push for certification of Kenya forests in fresh bid to curb illegal logging and destruction of trees.

Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) will host government officials and environmentalists this week from Tuesday. Certification involves stamping timber and wood products as an assurance the product has been traced and found to be sourced from well managed forests.

The Nairobi meeting, which looks to protect tropical forests in Africa, will also seek to make buyers of timber on the importance of the stamps in the fight against deforestation.

FSC has more than 500 million acres of forest across the globe that is certified.

“One of the aims of the meeting is to create stronger local partnerships in Kenya and East Africa to develop the adoption of national standards for FSC-certification and promote certification of natural forests,” FSC said.

Wood products with FSC stamps have easier access to international markets as consumers become increasingly conscious about environment.

Kenya has a forest cover of 7.4 percent of its land area, down from around 12 percent 50 years ago. The minimum cover should be 10 percent.

Destruction of forests lead to a water crisis and hurt food production, experts warn.