A number of conservation organisations in Kenya, environmental activists and forest communities are some of the groups supporting the proposed repealing of Section 34(2a) of the Forest Conservation and Management Act 2016. Their argument is that Kenya Forest Services (KFS) shouldn’t review any petitions because it infringes on their right to petition Parliament directly under Article 119 of the Kenyan Constitution.
The forest communities in particular are concerned that it is against the principles of fair administrative action for KFS to review petitions for forest boundary variations when they are the ones mandated to gazette public forests. Meaning how would they review their own decisions fairly – hence the support for the repeal.
On the other hand, concerns are being raised around the Constitutionality of granting the National Assembly the sole powers to determine petitions for forest boundary variations without oversight by key bodies like KFS, NEMA, NLC among others. The fear is that without proper oversight the process would be politicized at the expense of environmental safeguards and human rights considerations.
Natural Justice has prepared this fact sheet to give more information on the proposed Amendment, its potential legal implications, why the public should care and how they can engage in this process. You can access the fact sheet on this link.