Ban on logging initially imposed in response to alarming rates of deforestation
In a move aimed at reviving struggling local economies, President William Ruto announced on Sunday the lifting of a six-year ban on logging in Kenya.
The ban had been put in place by his predecessor, Uhuru Kenyatta.
Ruto addressed the issue during a service at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Molo, Nakuru, where he assured the public that his government has implemented comprehensive plans to ensure responsible logging practices.
“Over the next 10 years, we shall grow 15 billion trees and restore 10.6 million hectares of degraded forests and rangelands,” Ruto said.
He emphasized that only mature trees would be harvested, and an equal number of saplings would be planted in their place.
While the decision has been lauded by many for its potential economic benefits, concerns over the environmental impact of increased logging activities persist.
Kenya’s forests play a crucial role in maintaining ecological balance, providing habitats for wildlife, preserving water catchment areas, and mitigating climate change through carbon sequestration.
During the ban, the government focused on reforestation efforts and initiated programs to raise awareness about the importance of forest conservation.
However, the logging industry suffered a severe blow, leaving many communities that heavily rely on forest products in dire economic straits.
Environmental activists and conservation groups have expressed reservations about the decision, expressing concerns over the potential for unchecked logging practices leading to renewed deforestation and degradation of natural habitats.
They argue that sustainable forestry practices must be strictly enforced to ensure the long-term health and vitality of Kenya’s forests.