ENVIRONMENTAL DIPLOMACY

Envoys urged to adopt forests

In Summary

• 25 ambassadors plant 2,000 seedlings at Uplands forest

• Kenya has a forest cover of seven per cent and aims at attaining 10 per cent in 2022

Foreign affairs CAS Ababu Namwamba addressing journalists at Uplands forest yesterday.
Foreign affairs CAS Ababu Namwamba addressing journalists at Uplands forest yesterday.
Image: GEORGE MUGO

The government has urged diplomatic missions to adopt a block in Kenyan forests to help attain the 10 per cent cover target by 2022.

Foreign Affairs CAS Ababu Namwamba yesterday said the forest cover in the country still stands at seven per cent, and to attain the target, 1.8 billion seedlings are needed.

"It is important for each and every embassy to adopt a block in any forest in the country where they will plant trees as a way of supporting us to replant and conserve our forests," he said.

"My office and I will assist you all the time" he added.

Namwamba also encouraged the embassies set aside funds and time to visit the forests they will adopt to monitor their trees.

He, however, applauded efforts by various stakeholders, community forest associations and the Kenya Forest Service for planting more trees when President Uhuru Kenyatta launched national tree planting exercise.

Namwamba spoke at Uplands Forest in Lari, Kiambu county, where he led 25 ambassadors in planting 2,000 seedlings of indigenous trees.

Namwamba who represented CS Monica Juma, also commissioned the two-hectare block that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will partner with KFS to replant trees.

Also present were county commissioner Wilson Wanyanga, deputy county commissioner Aaron Koros, OCPD Ellen Wanjiku and OCS Waigwa Machomba.

Dean of the diplomatic corps Beyene Russon urged embassies to support the government achieve its goals of conserving the environment.

The Eritrean ambassador said environment issues are international since they affect all people.;

KFS officer Esau Omollo said the service has so far received 15 million indigenous seedlings, which will be planted before the end of the year in various forests.

Omollo also noted that the private sector has offered to support KFS with 76 million indigenous seedlings, saying that was a great gesture that Kenyans are ready to conserve the environment.