President William Ruto has taken another blow. This comes after the Environment Court extended the logging ban.
The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) has filed a court challenge to Ruto’s directive to lift the ban imposed by the previous administration in 2018.
LSK filed a lawsuit to contest the decision to lift the moratorium in July 2023, which the court stayed.
The Environment Court concluded that the moratorium was lifted without proactive information dissemination and public involvement.
In addition, Justice Oscar Angote forbade the government from issuing logging permits save for 5,000 acres of mature trees.
While lifting the ban, Ruto said that it had harmed Kenya’s economy, particularly in places where logging was the primary source of income.
“We have decided to open up the forest and harvest timber so that we can create jobs for our youth and open businesses,” Ruto said after the restriction was lifted.
He went on to say that the move will not devastate the country’s water catchment areas because his administration planned to plant 15 billion trees over the next decade.
Despite the government’s claim to the court that Kenya had 26,000 hectares of mature and over-mature forest plantations, Justice Angote has only permitted tree removal on 5,000 acres.
LSK claimed in front of the Environment Court that there were no scientific arguments or study to support relaxing the ban.
Furthermore, the Eric Theuri-chaired body contended that there was no specific environmental impact or public input that led to the moratorium being lifted.
Kenya’s forest cover has steadily increased since the ban’s implementation, rising from 5.9 percent in 2018 to 8.83 percent in 2022.