Launch of Technical Committee to review Charcoal Rules and Regulations (2009)
The government is working on reviewing the rules and regulations that govern the charcoal business in order to make it sustainable and reduce pressure on forests. Currently the country earns at least 32 billion shillings annually from charcoal trade, and the new regulations are expected to not only bring sanity to charcoal trade, but also involve charcoal traders in environmental conservation.
A 14 member technical committee to review and redraft the Charcoal Rules and Regulations (2009) to align it with the Kenya Constitution 2010 and Draft Forest (Management and Conservation) Bill 2014 was appointed by Dr. Richard Lesiyampe, the PS State department of Environment and Natural Resources whose mandate is to complete the process in three months.
A stakeholder meeting organized by Green Africa Foundation on the status of Charcoal Rules and Regulations was held last year in July 2014. During this meeting, it was resolved that there is need to review and re-draft the Charcoal Rules and Regulations 2009 to align them with the Kenya Constitution 2010 and Draft Forest (Management and Conservation) Bill 2014. The meeting recommended that a Technical Committee be formed to spearhead the review and redrafting process.
Some of the areas the committee will look into are the import and export of charcoal, weights at the point of sale, and the environmental impact assessment. The Technical Committee membership is comprised of various bodies and institutions including the National Environment Management Authority, Kenya Bureau of Standards, Kenya Forest Service, Council of Governors and the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum. Others members are civil societies, private sector and community groups involved in the charcoal business.
The Friday 30th January 2015 workshop was the official launch of the Technical Committee by the PS and sharing of the road map towards the process.