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IMPORTANCE OF THE EDUCATION SECTOR IN ACHIEVING SUSTAINABLE FOREST MANAGEMENT

By Michael Kitum

 

According to the United Nations Habitat World Cities Report 2016 on Urbanization and Development, 54 percent of the World’s population resides in urban areas, a number expected to rise to 70% by 2050.

 

From a forestry perspective, it means that new generations are increasingly getting disconnected from nature and lack the awareness of understanding forests and their benefits to human livelihoods and the need to manage forest resources sustainably.

 

It is for this reason that Kenya Forest Service (KFS) aims to bring forests into the lives of children at an early age through the multi-stakeholder approach in tree planting partnerships for the realization of the national target of attaining 10% forest cover by 2022 as outlined in the Kenyan Constitution, Kenya Vision 2030 and other development blue prints.

 

The Service has identified that by partnering with corporates to sponsor tree planting initiatives in public schools and educational institutions, a culture of conservation will be instilled in Kenya’s youthful population from an early age. This will ensure sustainable management of forests through appreciation of the role trees play in keeping the air, soil, water and livelihoods healthy as well as addressing some of the biggest challenges the world faces today in climate change, pollution and eradication of hunger.

 

KFS Chief Conservator of Forests, Mr. Julius Kamau while addressing students at Karaba Secondary School urged school managements in the country to embrace a culture of tree planting within their schools and possibly seek to allocate 10% of their land to forestry activity through which students can learn conservation practices and benefit from forest extension officers.

 

“When children are provided with a foundation to better understand the importance of forests, they will passionately safeguard natural resources for the future generation,” said Mr. Julius Kamau.

 

The International Day of Forests, celebrated every 21st March, ran by the theme “Forests and Education” in 2019 with an aim of raising awareness of the importance of forests globally to people and their vital role in poverty eradication, environmental sustainability and food security. This goes to show how important tapping into the education sector is of benefit worldwide by raising a future generation who will love forest conservation and understand the adverseness that deforestation does directly to their lives.

 

KFS Chief Conservator of Forests Mr. Julius Kamau addressing students from Karaba Secondary School on the importance of forestry to human life.He is accompanied by KFS Commandant Alex Lemarkoko.

 

 

A Kenya Forest Service Officer educating students during the International Day of Forests 2019 themed "Forests and Education."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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