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Reports & Analysis

Kenya Releases Report Linking the Value of Forests to the Economy

With support from the UN-REDD Programme, a joint Kenya Forest Service and UNEP report shows how economic benefits of forest ecosystems far exceed short-term gains from deforestation.

At a recent high-level dialogue on deforestation in Nairobi, UNEP and Kenya's Forest Service released a report revealing the causes of major economic damage due to deforestation. The report, entitled The Role and Contribution of Montane Forests and Related Ecosystem Services to the Kenyan Economy, found that forests contribute to a wide range of sectors, accounting for 3.6 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), compared to the current official figure of 1.1 per cent.

"The value of the Mau Forest's ecosystem services to the Kenyan economy previously calculated by UNEP has already catalyzed a response to conserve and rehabilitate this vital resource," said Hon. Dr. Noah Wekesa, Kenya's Minister of Forestry and Wildlife, adding that,  "This shows we have already acknowledged the importance of forests. However, this new report quantifies the massive scale of the economic damage deforestation brings and shows much more needs to be done nation-wide."

The economic benefits of forest ecosystem services are more than four times higher than the short-term gains of deforestation, but trees continue to be felled due to multiple and complex reasons, including unregulated charcoal production, livestock grazing and human settlements.

The final document of the high-level dialogue highlighted the fact that Kenya’s new constitution calls for an increase in forest cover to 10 per cent which, coupled with an increasing public demand to halt and reverse deforestation, has the potential to trigger unprecedented investment in the forest sector.

Delegates of the high-level dialogue also encouraged Kenya to seize a unique opportunity provided by the new constitution and public opinion to reverse deforestation in the nation’s water towers, which deprives the economy of almost six billion shillings (US$70 million) annually and threatens more than 70 per cent of the water supply.

"Kenya has already signaled its intent to build up this natural capital as a vibrant and sustainable engine for growth and prosperity," said UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner. "The outcomes of this meeting provide an agenda for moving beyond an era when forests were seen as unproductive land that could be turned into something more valuable by cutting down the trees," he added.

Read more on the high-level dialogue that brought together more than 200 delegates, including key decision-makers, the private sector, development partners, civil society and international observers 5-7 November, 2012 in Nairobi, Kenya.






In this issue


UN-REDD at COP18 and Forest Day 6

Lao PDR and Morocco Join the UN-REDD Programme

UN-REDD Policy Board Approves US$47.6 Million in Support to National REDD+ Actions

Indonesia Presents its REDD+ Forest Governance Progress

REDD+ Day at CBD COP11

Cambodia Takes First Step Toward a National Forest Inventory

Features & Commentary

Republic of the Congo Signs its UN-REDD National Programme
By: Georges Claver Boudzanga

Phasing out REDD+ Phase I in Viet Nam
By: Thomas Enters

Tanzania Conducts Comprehensive REDD+ Capacity Needs Assessment
By: Ralf Ernst


Reports & Analysis

New UN-REDD Success Story: DRC's Safeguard Standards

Kenya Releases Report Linking the Value of Forests to the Economy

Two New Go-REDD+ Issues from UN-REDD in Asia-Pacific

Looking ahead

REDD+ Partnership Meeting
25 November, 2012: Doha, Qatar

UNFCCC Climate Change Conference (COP18)
26 November- 7 December, 2012: Doha, Qatar

Forest Day 6
2 December, 2012: Doha, Qatar

UN-REDD Programme COP18 side event
5 December, 2012: Doha, Qatar

REDD+ Partnership High-Level Event
5 December, 2012: Doha, Qatar

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