The Forest Conservation and Management Act establishes and states the functions of the Kenya Forest Service.
The Act calls for the development and sustainable management of all forest resources, including the conservation and rational utilization of all forest resources for the country’s socio-economic development and other related purposes.
The Kenya Forest Service shall be a body corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal and shall, in its corporate name, be capable of–
- suing and being sued;
- taking, purchasing or otherwise acquiring, holding, charging or disposing of moveable and immovable property;
- entering into contracts; and
- undertaking or performing all other activities necessary for the proper performance of its functions under the Forest Conservation and Management Act that a body corporate may lawfully do or perform.
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The functions of the Kenya Forest Service shall be to–
- conserve, protect and manage all public forests according to the provisions of Forest Conservation and Management Act;
- prepare and implement management plans for all public forests and, where requested, assist in the preparation of management plans for community forests or private forests in consultation with the relevant owners;
- receive and consider applications for licenses or permits concerning forest resources or forest management or any other relevant matter under the Forest Conservation and Management Act;
- establish and implement benefit-sharing arrangements following the provisions of Forest Conservation and Management Act;
- assist county governments in building capacity in forestry and forest management in the counties;
- develop programs for forest management in consultation with relevant stakeholders;
- promote forestry education and training;
- register and maintain a register of all forest management plans prepared for public forests;
- collaborate with relevant persons in identifying research needs and applying research findings concerning forests and forestry;
- manage water catchment areas for soil and water conservation, carbon sequestration, and other environmental services in collaboration with relevant stakeholders;
- prepare –
- a Forest Status Report for the Cabinet Secretary in charge of forestry matters every two years; and
- a Resource Assessment Report for the Cabinet Secretary every five years;
- consider and recommend to the Cabinet Secretary the establishment of public forests on un-alienated public land or any other public land;
- consider and recommend to the Cabinet Secretary the determination and alteration of public forest boundaries;
- establish forest conservancy areas for conservation and management purposes;
- approve the provision of credit facilities and technical training for community-based forest industries, as well as the provision of incentives to individuals for the sustainable use of wood and non-wood forest products;
- implement and enforce rules and regulations governing importation, exportation and trade in forest produce; and
- develop, maintain, and regularly update a geographic information system database of all Kenyan forests.
A Board of Directors shall manage the Kenya Forest Service. The Board shall comprise–
- the chairperson, appointed by the President;
- the Principal Secretary responsible for forestry or a designated representative;
- the Principal Secretary responsible for National Treasury or a designated representative;
- the Inspector-General of the National Police Service or a designated representative;
- the Director of the Kenya Forestry Research Institute or a designated representative;
- the Chief Conservator of Forests (responsible for the day to day management of the Service) who shall be the secretary to the Board but shall not have a vote; and
- four other persons appointed by the Cabinet Secretary, of whom–
- one shall be nominated by the Forestry Society of Kenya;
- one shall be nominated by a national body representing community forest associations;
- one shall represent the forest industry; and
- one person nominated by the Council of Governors.
For more about the Kenya Forest Service, see the Forest Conservation and Management Act and their website at kenyaforestservice.org.