On 21st November 2019, the Kenya Forest Working Group (hosted by the East African Wild Life Society) in partnership with the National Alliance of Community Forest Associations (NACOFA), World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and Kenya Forest Service (KFS) launched the inaugural Community Forest Association Award scheme with the aim of creating public awareness on the importance of Community Forest Associations (CFAs) in forest protection, conservation and management.
“The main objective of this initial Community Forest Award is to recognize CFAs actively taking part in forest conservation and management in parts of the Mau Forest Complex and targeted CFAs in Narok, Bomet and Nakuru Forest Ecosystems,” said the Chief Conservator of Forests – Mr. Julius Kamau.
11 Community Forest Associations (Mara Mara, Olenguruone, Sururu, Chepalungu, Nyangores, Kiptunga, Ndoinet, Itare, Olposimoru, Nairotia, and Likia) were recognized for outstanding achievements in governance, business and enterprise development in forestry, forest conservation as well as management and sustainability.
“This award scheme will be useful in creating awareness among communities on the importance of forest conservation, recognising passion and awarding efforts in tree growing and forest conservation,’’ noted East African Wild Life Society’s Executive Director, Nancy Ogonje.
The CFA awarding ceremony drew to a close with the various participating CFAs, award partners and wider Bomet community planting a total of 25,000 indigenous tree seedlings as part of the efforts to restore over 5,000 hectares of degraded forest in Chepalungu, Bomet County destroyed over a decade ago by illegal logging and charcoal burning.