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close this bookObstacles to Tree Planting in Arid and Semi-Arid lands: Comparative Case Studies from India and Kenya (UNU, 1982, 63 p.)
close this folder3. Kenya
View the documentLand Tenure and use
View the documentDefinition and distribution of the arid and semi-arid zones
View the documentGovernment policy on arid zone development
View the documentForestry organization and policy
View the documentRural afforestation and extension
View the documentNeeds for forest products and services in the arid zone
View the documentCurrent programmes of afforestation in the arid zone
View the documentOvercoming the major obstacles to tree planting

Forestry organization and policy

The Forest Department within the Ministry of Natural Resources is organized like the forestry departments in many Commonwealth countries, with a Chief Conservator of Forests aided by two assistant Chief Conservators and eight Conservators of Forests with responsibility mainly on an area basis. These are supported by Assistant Conservators responsible for the detailed management of forests on a district basis. In addition there are specialist posts for silviculturist , entomologist, pathologist, engineer, utilization officer, and economist, giving a total professional staff of approximately 60. In addition there are some 200 higher technical staff, 1,500 lower technical staff, 8,000 resident workers, and 4,000 casual employees. This appears to be a large force to deal with the relatively small proportion of land under forest, but it must be remembered that the forests are scattered throughout much of Kenya, offer with poor communications, even though the bulk are in the accessible, high-production areas.

The Sixth Commonwealth Forestry Conference, held at Ottawa in 1952, resolved that each country should, as a matter of urgency, publish a statement of forest policy and that the statement should be implemented by the Government concerned. Kenya published its first policy in 1957, and this was restated by the Government of independent Kenya in 1968. It declared that, for the greater common good of all, forests in the country should be managed according to a number of critical principles: reservation of land for forest purposes; protection of forest estates; promotion of wood-using industry; provision of adequate finance; employment relief; advice on county council and private forests; public amenity; and research and education facilities. These are standard criteria in most national forest policies and cannot be criticized. Unfortunately, to carry out a policy requires legislation, but the existing forest legislation in Kenya predates the policy (the Forest Act, 1911) and it was not framed to meet the current policy. A more detailed policy and appropriate legislation are currently in preparation (Kamweti 1979).