GREENING KENYA

Sh48 billion needed to increase forest cover

President has asked ministries, departments and government agencies to contribute 10 per cent of CSR to tree planting

In Summary
  • Kenya needs to plant 1.8 billion seedlings between now and 2022 to achieve 10 per cent tree cover
  • Strategy document is with President Uhuru Kenyatta's delivery  unit
Aberdare Forest.
Aberdare Forest.
Image: COURTESY

A plan to increase forest cover from the current 7.2 per cent to at least 10 per cent by 2022 shows Kenya needs Sh48 billion for the purpose.

Kenya Forest Service provided technical input to the draft strategy.

Other key agencies that took part in the initial development of the strategy include Kenya Water Towers Agency, Kenya Forestry Research Institute and the National Environment Management Authority.

Kenya needs to plant and protect 1.8 billion seedlings between now and 2022 to achieve 10 per cent tree cover.

On Monday, chief conservator of forests Julius Kamau said the strategy document was at President Uhuru Kenyatta's delivery  unit.

"That tells you that it is being looked at as one of the commitments of the government,"Kamau said.

Kamau said the document had gone through principal secretaries who are members of the national steering committee. 

After going through the PSs , the document that spells how Kenya will achieve the ambitious cover was presented to the Cabinet.

"It acknowledges the budget required which is about Sh 48 billion between now and 2022,"Kamau said.

On June 8, First Lady Margaret Kenyatta presided over a tree planting drive at Ruiru dam in Kiambu.

At least 10,000 bamboo seedlings were planted during the event with the support of Bidco Africa.

The chief conservator said the commitment of the government is very clear and they have gone to the highest levels to attract both political support and funding.

"The final document is set to be subjected to public participation," he said.

Kamau said communities who surround forests will be taken by KFS as allies.

He said the role that the private sector will play was very critical. "We are happy that the private sector has realised there is a need for us all to come together and increase tree cover," Kamau said.

Kamau disclosed the President had asked ministries, departments and government agencies to contribute 10 per cent of their corporate social responsibility to tree planting.

"KFS cannot do it alone. It requires every person in this country. The strategy brings all stakeholders together," he said.