Kenyan Forest Service Calls For Capacity Building In Forest Management

Developing skills in earth observation for forest monitoring is considered paramount in tackling issues of forest management. Therefore, Kenyan Chief Conservator of Forest, Julius Kamau, in a meeting on Tuesday with the Forests 2020 Coordinator for Kenya and Ghana, Dr Ruth Malleson, and the Managing Director of Climate and Energy Advisory, Stephen Mutimba, in Nairobi, has called for capacity building programmes in the area of forest management as part of Uk sponsored Forests 2020 project, and in line with the partnership deal between the groups.

Capacity building in forestry and creation of forest alerts, he noted, will make for the sustainability of an infrastructure that will aid the processing of satellite data and other information needed for forest conservation and management, adding that the information equips policymakers for better decision-making.

“There is a need for building capacity on forestry management aspects such as the creation of forests alerts to ensure the sustainability of the innovations developed under the project beyond 2020. The initiative will sustain the digital infrastructure that will assist in the processing of satellite data and derived information to influence forest conservation and management, as well as policy discourse in the country,” he said.

Other issues discussed at the meeting include consolidating the partnership between KFS and Forests 2020 with regards to earth observation forest monitoring, blended into the service’s national forest monitoring system as a reporting tool on forest dynamics, forest risk mapping, mangrove mapping, and development of near-real-time forest alerts.

Ratified in 2017 to protect and restore tropical forests by improving forest monitoring in Kenya through the use of satellite data, the partnership with Forest 2020 has so far helped the Kenya Forest Service in its mapping project in Kwale county and other places in its coastal region. The UK Space Agency’s International Partnerships Programme (IPP) project is providing the KFS with high-resolution data images acquired from the Synthetic Aperture Radar (Sentinel-1) satellite, to tackle its forest conservation issues, amongst other things.