The Ministry of Environment, Climate Change & Forestry’s Cabinet Secretary, Roselinda Soipan Tuya, led an event where 13.5 tonnes of sandalwood were destroyed at the DCI Headquarters.
The sandalwood, which came from endangered tree species found in the country’s forests, had been confiscated during various operations in Samburu County.
During her remarks, the Cabinet Secretary said that the exercise was symbolic and demonstrated the commitment of stakeholders to break the networks that benefit from the illegal trade of sandalwood and its products.
She emphasized that global demand for sandalwood oil had led to the development of an extensive illegal network that exploits both community and KFS-managed forests to harvest the wood.
The Cabinet Secretary noted that the government had banned sandalwood harvesting in 2007 but that overexploitation had continued.
She said the public banning of sandalwood showed the multi-stakeholder commitment to prevent illegal sandalwood harvesting in community forests.
Director of DCI, Mohamed I. Amin, noted that the sandalwood is listed as an endangered species in the Wildlife Conservation and Management Sixth Schedule.
He appreciated the need for collaboration in the fight against wildlife, forestry, and fisheries crimes in Kenya and urged the public to report illegal activity through the Fichua hotline number 0800 722 203..
The US Ambassador to Kenya, Ms Megan Whitman, KFS Chief Conservator Mr. Julius Kamau, and Senior Principal Magistrate Hon. Boaz Ombewa were among the dignitaries present at the event.