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Government responds to reports of issuing 60,000 hectares of the Mau forest complex to a foreign company

Government through Kenya Forest denies claims of giving 60,000 hectares of Mau forest complex to Dutch Company.

Kenya Forest Service (KFS) debunked reports that it had given out 60,000 hectares of the Mau Forest Complex to the Initiatives for Sustainable Landscapes (ISLA) Project funded by Dutch firm IDH.

KFS stated in a statement released on Sunday, December 3, that it has been collaborating with the Dutch company to preserve and restore the South West Mau Forest for nearly ten years.

Kenya Forest said that the government had no intention of giving the company 60,000 hectares even though they were actively involved in the conservation of the Mau Forest.

“This ongoing partnership does not imply in any manner handing over of the management of the forest. The Forest Conservation and Management Act, 2016 mandates the Service with conservation and management of all gazetted forest blocks and there are no intentions whatsoever to hand over management of forests to any other entity,” the statement read in part.

KFS also noted that President William Ruto had taken a firm stand regarding the issue in the ongoing Conference of the Parties (COP28) in Dubai.

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Reports alleged that the Dutch firm was using Mau Forest for Carbon credits that allowed them to emit a certain amount of carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases.

However, KFS maintained that the national government was at an advanced stage of developing regulatory frameworks for the sector.

“The Government is in the process of finalizing Carbon Trading regulations which will guide implementation of the Climate Change Act as amended to streamline carbon trading in the country for the benefit of all Kenyans,” KFS maintained.

Nonetheless, KFS hailed the Dutch firm for helping in the construction of Forest Ranger Outposts to assist in forest protection and community empowerment projects to reduce pressure on the forest.

“ISLA has also been instrumental in assisting Community Forest Associations develop Participatory Forest Management Plans (PFMP) to enable them to fully benefit from their conservation efforts,” it lauded the Dutch firm.

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