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Everyone should participate to deliver 15bn trees target, PS Ng’eno says

The PS during the closing session of the two-day Kenya Landscape Restoration Forum (KLRF)

Environment and Climate Change Principal Secretary Festus Ng’eno has rallied non-state actors including the private sector and civil society organizations to support Government’s landscape and ecosystem restoration agenda that includes the ambitious 15bn national tree growing programme.

Eng Ng’eno said the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Forestry was applying a wholesome approach in the implementation of the 10-year tree growing initiative that includes restoration of degraded landscapes and ecosystems across the country through the ‘whole-of-Government and whole-of-society approach’.

“Landscape and ecosystem restoration demands a unified approach. Ecosystems are interlinked, and our interventions within them must harmonize. Our initiatives and actions should complement each other.

“That is why, as a Government, our approach to landscape and ecosystem restoration is marked by a comprehensive and collaborative spirit.

“It is a ‘whole-of-Government, whole-of-society’ approach, symbolizing our commitment to the holistic restoration of our landscapes and ecosystems,” Eng Ng’eno said.

The Principal Secretary spoke on Friday evening at a Nairobi hotel during the closing session of the two-day Kenya Landscape Restoration Forum (KLRF) where he represented Environment, Climate Change and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Soipan Tuya.

KLRF was organised by the Government and partners led by the World Bank and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) on the sidelines of the 2023 Global Land Forum held at the United Nations Complex in Gigiri, Nairobi from 11th to 12th October.

The two-day meeting, whose outcomes will be used to strengthen the ten-year 15bn national tree growing strategy, examined challenges and explored opportunities for accelerating Kenya’s broad environmental conservation agenda, specifically the upscaling of financing for forest landscape restoration.

Once again, PS Ng’eno reiterated Government’s committed to the restoration of all degraded landscapes across the country, and outlined several policy and programmatic interventions the Ministry is rolling out including enhanced tree seeds collection and seedlings propagation.

“The Government is deeply committed to this cause. Our efforts include boosting tree seed and seedling production, fostering partnerships and alliances for restoration, providing incentives for restoration work, and crafting clear, forward-thinking strategies to guide our path,” Eng Ng’eno noted.

He advised players in the environment sector to work collaboratively so as to avoid duplication of interventions and enhance impacts of their initiatives in the areas they operate.

“The time to break barriers is not today but yesterday; there is no better platform to brainstorm, strategize, re-strategize and mobilize resources. It is time to unite and dismantle the silos that hinder our progress and end duplication,” PS Ng’eno said.

The PS said the Government had identified seven ecosystems in its landscape restoration strategy to guide coordinated interventions across the country and advised sector stakeholders to consider tapping into indigenous knowledge.

Besides local experts, the two-day workshop was addressed by visiting resource persons from Ethiopia, Rwanda, and Costa Rica who shared their experiences from overseeing some of the world’s highly successful landscape restoration initiatives.

The international experts were in Nairobi for the Global Land Forum at the United Nations Complex in Gigiri.

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