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The Classification of Forests in Kenya

  • Author: Gĩthĩnji
  • Updated on:

The classification of forests in Kenya consists of public forests, community forests or private forests under the Forest Conservation and Management Act. Natural forests and planted forests are the main types of forests found in Kenya

Natural forests grow on their own and include mountain rainforests, savannah woodlands, dry forests, coastal forests and mangroves. Planted forests are grown with human effort under afforestation programmes, especially in high rainfall areas.

Classification of forests in Kenya

As mentioned above, forests fall under public, community or private forests.

Public forests in Kenya include—

  • public forests under Article 62 (1)(g) of the Constitution. These include forests in government game reserves, water catchment areas, national parks, government animal sanctuaries, and specially protected areas;
  • forests on land between the high and low water marks under Article 62 (1)(I) of the Constitution.

Community forests include—

  • forests on land that group representatives register legally in their name;
  • forests on land that a specific community receives as a legal transfer;
  • forests on any other land that an Act of Parliament declares to be community land;
  • forests on land that specific communities hold legally, manage or use as community forests;
  • forests on ancestral lands and lands that hunter-gatherer communities traditionally occupy; and
  • forests that county governments hold legally as trust land, but not including any public land the county governments hold in trust under Article 62 (2) of the Constitution.

Private forests in Kenya include—

  • forests on registered land any person holds under any freehold tenure;
  • forests on land any person holds under leasehold tenure;
  • any forest an individual, institution or body corporate owns privately for commercial or non-commercial purposes; and
  • forests on any other land an Act of Parliament declares as private land.

For more about the classification of forests in Kenya, see the Forest Management and Conservation Act.