Deputy President William Ruto on Monday maintained that the 90-day ban on logging must be observed.
He asked the concerned authorities to take the ban seriously “since it is not a government PR stunt”.
“There will be no logging and felling of trees in both gazetted government and community forest for a period of 90 days,” Ruto said.
The deputy president spoke on Monday during the launch of a 10-member task force that will review forestry management across the country.
The task force is headed by the Green Belt Movement chairperson Marion Wakanyi Kamau.
Ruto told the team that: “Sacrifices must be made to restore the lost forest cover in the country.”
The task force will recommend ways depleted forests can be restored to achieve the Constitutional 10 per cent forest cover.
It is expected to present its interim reports in 14 days.
Environment Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko and PS Charles Sunkuli were present at the launch.
Ruto said the country has close to 120,000 plantations that have no trees and another of indigenous plantations that have similar challenges.
“There is also 3 million acres of land that need to be planted with trees…you have a duty to tell us and recommend to the government on how all deflated areas are planted with trees.”
He asked the team to explore if it is tenable to continue having plantations inside gazetted forests or relocate outside gazetted areas.
The DP said the task force was also expected to come up with recommendations on how to raise more resources for better management of the forests and environment.
“But we want to make it absolutely clear that we are ready and willing to make tough sacrifices if the task force recommends tough measures to be taken to recover the lost forest areas.”
Ruto further said the government has a duty of making global contribution towards mitigating the effects of climate change.
“Climate change is a phenomena that we cannot change but we have a duty to make a contribution towards mitigating the effects.”
Wakinyi said: “This is a great time…the cover challenge comes when we celebrate forty years since Wangari Mathai started the movement.”
“…and twenty years since she fought for the survival of Karura forest,” Wakinyi said adding that the team will not be malicious in its restoration efforts.
Tobiko said despite the challenges, reports from the ground show that the temporary ban has been a success.
He added the task force will plant 1,000 trees as part of commencement.
Last week, the CS warned that nothing will be hidden by the 15-member task force that will unearth the wanton destruction of Kenya’s forests.