National Forest Policy
The policy framework, as contained in the 1994 Forest and Wildlife Policy, is publicly available and recognises citizens’ rights of participation in forest resources management, but it has not been translated into law. The policy has not been translated into community languages but can be obtained at the request of the community and is also available at the District Forest offices. Though the policy has shaped the current operational laws in the forest sector, the key focus of these laws have been mostly in relation to timber production. Important principles such as community access to non timber forest products, participatory management and accountability for the resources contained in the policy are not translated into law. The policy is currently under review to capture the current trends such as REDD+, and an updated new policy was expected to be ready by the end of 2011. The final draft is available, which was validated at a meeting where a couple of issues (e.g. the provision on climate change that is focused on carbon markets) were raised and the Ministry of Lands and Forestry was asked to fine-tune it and re-submit to a smaller team for vetting. This will then be submitted to the Attorney-General’s Office, then to Cabinet and finally to Parliament.