The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Forest Stakeholders to Sue Kenya Forest Service

Forest stakeholders have protested over the process of concessions of state forest plantations and vowed to move to court to stop the decision by the government.

During a meeting held at a Nyeri hotel yesterday, the stakeholders under the umbrella of Community Forest Association opposed the move by the Kenya Forest Service saying that the gesture has disillusioned the forest stakeholders.

In a statement read by executive director of Nacofa Gerald Ngatia, the stakeholders said the concession pre-empts the county governments and their citizens from exercising any form of power over forest resources and deprive them of benefits for 30 years.

"We feel alienated in the decision making process that culminated in KFS publicly soliciting for expressions of interests for concessions," the association said.

KFS manages 135,000 hectares of softwood plantations for production of wood for timber processing paper, fuel wood poles and ply wood.

"The affected forests are Mt Kenya, Aberdares and Mt Elgon," said Ngatia.

Ngatia said this move contravenes the constitution as there is failure to uphold values and principles of devolution of power and participation of the public.

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