Lamu, KENYA: The Kenya Forestry Research institute is in the process of developing a master plan to enable sustainable utilization of mangrove trees in the country.
This follows the massive loss of mangroves along the coastal line that forced the government to ban the cutting of the trees.
Authorities have revealed that the drought being experienced now could be as a result of the destruction of Mangrove even though research is yet to prove that.
The KEFRI Board Chairman Sammy Latema told journalists that since 1985 the nation has lost 18 percent of mangrove cover due to destruction.
Speaking in Lamu on Frday after paying a courtesy call to governor Issa Timammy,Latema said every year the country loses 0.8 percent of the mangrove forest.
“The rate of replacement is not as big as what we are losing, that’s why we are developing a plan to enable sustainable utilization,’’ he said.
Latema said their aim is to use a scientific way of managing the mangroves in order to prevent the loss.
He said even though climate change and global warming was a global problem,the effects are being felt locally from such destructions.
Latema said their aim was to embrace climate adaptation and find out how to increase forest cover using the right trees and technology.
“We want to plant trees that will boost the socio economic activity of these areas,’’ he said.
Currently he said there is need to work together with the devolved units in areas with mangroves so as to ensure they conserve the trees.
He said the total ban on mangroves is not based on facts and figures and that the plan will be able to inform the government on the need to have a partial ban.
Most of the mangrove forest cover he said was in private land or communal land.
Already the KEFRI chairman said they are setting up one of the biggest regional offices in Lamu County in a five acre piece of land for research purposes.
The Governor on his part said he was delighted to receive the delegation of KEFRI and for setting up the regional offices in Lamu.
He said 60 per cent of the mangrove forest cover in the entire coast region is in Lamu and assured the board of maximum cooperation.
“if all government institutions were like KEFRI who moved so fast to set up regional headquarters in Lamu it would be wonderful,’’ he said.