KEFRI awarded 13th JICA President Award

The Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI) has been awarded the 13th Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) President Award.

The JICA President Award is given in honor of individuals or organizations for their long-standing contribution to JICA’s activities in Japan and overseas.

KEFRI was selected for the award based on its long history of cooperation and very strong tie with JICA and was amongst 23 organizations shortlisted for the award.

KEFRI and JICA partnership stretches over a spans of 31 years in areas of contribution to economic and social development and improvement of people’s welfare in their own countries.

Speaking last evening when she graced the occasion at the KEFRI headquarters, Environment and Natural resources Cabinet Secretary Judi Wakhungu said through Grant Aid and Technical Cooperation programme support, KEFRI capacity in research and development has been enhanced tremendously.

We will continue to support KEFRI in pursuing collaboration with development partners to share research achievements to address emerging challenges of Climate Change and poverty alleviation in our country and African Region, she added.

The CS noted that the technologies generated and training provided through the collaboration, have enabled sound forestry practices and management of forest resources to be undertaken both nationally and in the African region.

Wakhungu noted that the collaboration has further expanded the scope of KEFRIs on-going projects of Capacity Development for Sustainable Management to share knowledge on best practices in Eastern Africa and a further initiative to Combat Desertification in Africa through interventions in Forestry

Speaking when giving the award , Capacity Development Project for Sustainable Forest Management (CADEP� SFM) said KEFRI has intensified its efforts to enhance social forestry in Kenya.

Due to KEFRIs dissemination of their research findings from such projects, farmers have been planting trees on their farms thus progressively continued to contribute towards increasing Kenya’s tree cover to the 10 percent stipulated in the Constitution of Kenya 2010, Sano said

KEFRIs objective has been to develop social forestry in 20 countries in the Eastern and aouthern Africa region including Kenya and so far, Ms. Sano said around 470 participants have undertaken a course broadening knowledge on social forestry and climate change hence equipping people to better manage forests in their countries.

Participants have been trained in the forestry Farmer Field School (FFS) extension and this contribution has seen not only improving the lives and livelihoods of vulnerable people living in Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs) but also enhanced capacity for forest management in Africa through international cooperation, she said.

KEFRI Director, Dr. Ben Chikamai said the Technical Corporation Programme support through JICA has had the greatest impact in forestry development in the drylands of Kenya with ripple effects in the African Region.

He added that through JICAs support, they were now partaking in cutting age science with partners globally using the advanced equipment obtained through the Grant Aid.

Currently an on-going collaboration through Capacity Development Project for Sustainable Forest Management (CADEP� SFM) is contributing to further technology generation and knowledge sharing with additional inputs to the African initiative in combatting desertification, Dr. Chikamai noted

The Director thanked JICA Kenya Office for recommending KEFRI to the Awards Committee at the JICA Headquarters in Tokyo and for the prestigious Award from the JICA President saying it is a big privilege and honor for KEFRI and Kenya in general.

Part of the Grant Aid support received by KEFRI has seen them use it to purchase various laboratory, plant and transport equipment for the organization making it a reference Centre for monitoring illegal trade in timber in Eastern Africa through DNA finger printing.

Recently, the organization has also received additional Grant Aid support from JICA for purchase of equipment under the Small and Medium Enterprise arrangement, which will go a long way in further equipping their laboratories in the Regional Centres.

Source: Kenya News Agency