President William Ruto Forges Kenya’s Climate Change Action Targeting 15 Billion Trees

President William Ruto during the Mashujaa day celebrations of the country’s journey from the pre-colonial period to the achievement of sovereignty sensitized on the importance of the nation striding toward climate action.

He says his government is going to inaugurate the climate change council that will steer Kenya’s climate action through stakeholder engagement coordinated in the presidency as required by the climate change Act of 2016.

President Ruto raised concern about climate change and its impact on Kenya and abroad as seriously needing address as the effects are visible in our arid and semi-arid areas as well as the world.

Citing that pastoralists have faced adverse losses as we have lost 2.5 million herds of livestock due to prolonged drought probably the worst unseen for the last forty years and a lack of rain for the last 2-3 years.

The rise in food prices he raises as one that has made the situation more severe for both local and urban settlers within the country as the rural and some urban areas are also faced with minimum or no freshwater availability making survival difficult.

President Ruto emphasized without a doubt that climate change is complicating the road map toward socio-economic transformation and the achievement of sustainable development goals.

“I have directed that a long-term unsustainable solution to the planetary challenges be put in place. The ultimate solution includes; Greening our country to more than 30 percent of tree cover by 2032.”

“The central role forests play in addressing the effects of climate change has become more prominent now than ever as they can absorb, store carbon and regulate climate. Of the 59.2 million hectares in Kenya only 5.2 hectares are under forest cover, the rest 54 million hectares are in arid and semi-arid areas,” said Dr. Ruto.

Further, the President named the ten counties that are in forest cover which include; Nyeri, Lamu, Vihiga, Elgeyo Marakwet, Meru, Embu, Kirinyaga, Murang’a, Kilifi, and Nyandarua.

President Ruto at an earlier Tree planting. Source: Courtesy

While the counties with the lowest tree cover that thereby call for urgent climate action include; Wajir, Marsabit, Mandera, Siaya, Isiolo, Migori, Busia, Machakos, Taita Taveta, and Uasin Gishu.

“I call upon the Council of Governors to facilitate more discussions to achieve parity in tree cover by using peer-to-peer learning and exchange of information. The government will champion the transformation of Forestry and landline restoration to support the Greening of Kenya to combat climate change,” he said.

Further revealing the designing of a special presidential forestry and rangeland restoration program that is underway. An effort the President says is spearheaded by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry as well as various partners, the UN, NGOs, and several Academia.

Restoration the President says will involve the Youth and women majorly as it offers jobs and educates the public on the importance of nature.

“The objective is to grow 5 billion trees in the next five years and an additional 10 billion trees by 2032 which will lead to the rehabilitation and restoration of 10 million hectares in 290 constituencies as well as some specially selected ecosystems and water towers threatened by degradation destruction,” added President Ruto.

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