Kenya has launched a forest cover restoration program that will enable the country identify Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) priority areas for sustainable forest management and enhancement of forest carbon stocks.
The National Landscape Restoration Mapping Project (NLRMP) is expected to help identify forest landscape restoration opportunities in the country as well as help increase forest cover to 10 percent.
“The team has identified criteria for mapping and classifying datasets and generated a list of datasets for this project,” the National REDD+ Coordinator Alfred Gichu said while launching the project in Nairobi.
He said that the success of the project will rely strongly on the active participation of the stakeholders.
During the last meeting, Mr. Gichu said KFS remained fully committed to continue engaging more stakeholders to see the success of the project.
The Project is being implemented through a Technical Working Group (TWG) comprising of stakeholders in the forest sector. The committee came up with a process of quantifying degraded areas in gazetted forests.
This will include natural forests that have a current forest cover below 10 percent in the restoration process and includes national parks and game reserves.
The move is a follow up to the Bonn Challenge, a global restoration initiative designed as an implementation platform for several existing international commitments.
The Challenge seeks to restore 150 million hectares of degraded and deforested lands by 2020. About a dozen countries and institutions have made land restoration pledges to the Challenge or are in the process of preparing pledges.
Assessments of restoration opportunity are ongoing in numerous countries and restoration pledges are being incorporated into national plans and strategies.
The working group has two sub working groups namely policy and the mapping sub working groups.
Under the project, Kenya is expected to develop a national strategy for scaling up landscape restoration.
According to the United Nations, deforestation and forest degradation, through agricultural expansion, conversion to pasture land, infrastructure development, destructive logging and fires account for nearly 20 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, more than the entire global transportation sector and second only to the energy sector.