Race against time to attain 10 percent tree cover by next year

The Ministry of Environment has launched a tree-planting initiative in an effort to attain forest cover of 2 billion trees by 2030.

Dubbed ‘green up my neighborhood’ the exercise targets learning institutions as centers of environmental conservation with learners taking the lead in tree planting. The program is specifically aimed at boosting other efforts previously launched by the government in the race to meet next year’s deadline.

“This is part of the wider program, the greening Kenya initiative, where the President directed us to ensure that we attain the 10 percent-plus tree cover by 2022,” Environment Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko said during the launch of the exercise at the East Africa University in Kitengela.

Tobiko noted that the initiative will focus on community sensitization to facilitate the holistic nurturing of trees since planting alone is not sustainable.

“We are working with institutions, Non-Governmental Organizations, Departments and agencies of governments, international organizations, Schools, among others to make this a success,” he said.

Communities are here, youth groups are also well represented and they are so important in this mission,” the CS added

Tobiko said environmental experts have also been incorporated into the program so as to advise on the types of indigenous trees to plant in various regions. What’s more, the experts are expected to provide guidance on fruit trees to be planted to help boost food security in the country.

The CS would deliver a stern warning to charcoal dealers even as he expressed concern that the rise in the prices of cooking gas may threaten forest cover.

Tobiko however pointed out that the Kenya forest service(KFS) and other stakeholders have instituted measures that include the identification of commercial forests that will allow controlled charcoal burning.

In Saturday’s exercise, 3,000 indigenous trees were planted and a two million tree nursery was set up at the institution.


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