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CS Tuya rallies private sector to take up tree growing

Environment, Climate Change and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Soipan Tuya

Environment, Climate Change and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Soipan Tuya has rallied the private sector to partner with Government in the 15 billion tree growing programme saying corporates have the financial and human resources required to make the initiative a success.

Speaking at Nyayo National Stadium during the a corporate relay run organised by reinsurance company, ZEP-RE to launch a 30,000 tree growing campaign to mark its 30th anniversary, the CS said her ministry will soon enter a partnership with the insurance sector, led by Insurance Regulatory Authority, to shepherd the sector’s contribution to the 15 billion trees initiative.

“As is evidenced, most of the targets in this 15 billion national tree growing programme is going to be private sector led. You are all aware that the private sector is able to mobilize both human as well as financial resources to complement the work of government,” CS Tuya said.

The Cabinet Secretary said her Ministry had adopted a whole-of-society approach in tree growing initiative, and outlined progress made towards achieving the Kenya Kwanza administration’s flagship project including setting up of seed centres countrywide.

“We have completed the construction of 11 seed centres across the country, and by end of June 2023, they will be 18 completed seed centres. We have enhanced the capacity of Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI) both in terms of personnel as well as equipment, to ensure that the number of seeds and seedlings needed to make the 15 billion tree campaign possible are available,” she said.

CS Tuya said Kenya’s national target of growing 15 billion trees in 10 years was achievable, and cited other countries in the region and across the world that had achieved similar or bigger targets including Ethiopia and Pakistan.

“Since we launched the 15 billion national tree growing restoration programme, we have met other governments and states that make our 15 billion trees in 10 years look like a drop in the ocean.

“Pakistan have on their part planted and grown 10 billion trees in the past 4 years. Ethiopia through their green legacy initiative have planted over 25 billion trees,” the CS noted, adding that each Kenyan need to plan 30 trees yearly to attain the target.

CS Tuya congratulated ZEP-RE on its 30th anniversary saying the pan-African reinsurance company had been successful over the years due to its innovativeness.

“I say steady, innovative and manifest leadership as evidenced by the things that you do. Your corporate social responsibility activities resonate with the time,” CS Tuya said, noting that ZEP-RE’s innovative product gives it an edge over its competitors.

“I am aware of the livestock insurance project for pastoralists that you are implementing in the Horn of Africa, including Kenya. Building climate change resilience and climate change adaptation is the way out for Africa,” the CS, who was accompanied by Chief Conservator of Forests Mr Alex Lemarkoko, said.

Besides setting up seed centres and recruiting institutions to drive the tree growing programme, the CS said her Ministry had developed the ‘jazamiti’ digital application to track the initiative’s progress as well as generate ‘green certificates’ for participating individuals and institutions.

Other speakers at the colourful family event were Insurance Regulatory Authority CEO Mr Godfrey Kiptum and ZEP-RE’s MD Ms Hope Murera who recounted the reinsurance company’s journey over the three decades.