NAIROBI, March 2 (Xinhua) -- Kenya has launched a forestry project aimed at removing carbon from the atmosphere and depositing it in a reservoir.
The project known as carbon sequestration will be used to promote the planting of timber, bamboo, potato, cereals and pulses for improved household incomes.
Jerome Mwanzia, senior assistant chief conservator of Kenya Forest Service said on Saturday that the project is set to give emphasis on adaptation and mitigation of climate change interventions.
"We intend to enhance forest conservation and livelihood support for climate change resilience by benefiting the resource-poor and small land holders in the country," Mwanzia told journalists in Nairobi.
Mwanzia said the carbon sequestration project will help transfer carbon dioxide from the atmosphere into trees and help reduce carbon in the atmosphere.
"It is meant to provide new and more efficient ways of increasing forest cover, increasing food security, improve community livelihood through sustainable and inclusive commodity value chain," he added.
Mwanzia said that the project will be implemented in 15 counties.
"The project will focus on increasing the national forest cover and household incomes through rehabilitation of degraded forests, improvement of forest infrastructure and community capacities and livelihoods in the target counties," he added.
Mwanzia said that the 15 counties cover four forest conservancies and three out of five of Kenya's water towers including Mt. Kenya, Aberdares, and the Mau complex.
He noted that the project aims to increase the forest cover through forest rehabilitation and enhanced management, promotion of bamboo for conservation and commercialization, forest infrastructure development and enhanced community livelihoods through income generation activities.
Mwanzia said since emission rates from fossil fuel combustion has increased in the recent past, planting of trees as carbon sequester will be traded just as farm produce to provide a much needed income for the farmer, and an essential incentive to invest in soil restoration.
He noted that the project will support the use of efficient production, processing and utilization of technologies, development of marketing infrastructure and capacity enhancement along value chains.
The project will be implemented over a period of six years (2019-2024) and will be executed by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (MoEF) through the Kenya Forest Service (KFS).
The official said that Kenya's dependence on the natural environment is profound and underpins most sectors, including agriculture and horticulture, tourism, wildlife, and energy.
"In some rural areas, the forest contributes three quarters of the cash income to forest-adjacent households," he added.
Mwanzia attributed low forest cover in the country to inadequate water supplies and adverse climatic changes that have negatively impacted on agricultural production.