• The CS said KFS has a target of 315 million tree seedlings in 10 years- county (290 million) and Education ministry (100 million).
• Tuya said every Kenyan needs to plant 30 trees a year and 300 trees in 10 years for the goal to be attained.
The government has announced plans to plant 60 million trees during this March-May rainy season.
Environment CS Soipan Tuya said the move was aimed at combating the impacts of climate change.
“I urge all Kenyans to take the opportunity and engage in tree growing during this rainy season to contribute to climate change amelioration. I call upon all corporate organisations to all take up the challenge of planting trees as corporate social responsibility initiatives,” Tuya said.
She spoke on Wednesday at Kinale Forest when she presided over the signing of an agreement between Safaricom Company Limited and her ministry to plant five million trees.
During the event, Absa Bank committed to planting five million trees.
In 2020, Absa Bank also launched its sustainability commitment agenda to plant 10 million trees by 2025.
The government is seeking to plant 15 billion trees in the next 10 years to raise Kenya’s tree cover to 30 per cent by 2032.
The total budget for the 10-year bid is Sh600 billion.
This means that each year, the budget is approximately Sh60 billion.
Results generated from the National Forest Resources Assessment 2021 indicate that Kenya has 7,180,000.66ha (17 million acres) of tree cover, representing 12.13 per cent of the total area.
The CS said KFS has a target of 315 million tree seedlings in 10 years- county (290 million) and Education ministry (100 million).
Tuya said every Kenyan needs to plant 30 trees a year and 300 trees in 10 years for the goal to be attained.
“The government plays a policy role and facilitates the private sector and communities to undertake their daily businesses in a conducive environment. Because the government cannot achieve enhanced tree cover on its own, my ministry is implementing the ‘Adopt–a–Forest’ policy to engage corporate bodies in rehabilitating degraded forests,” she said.
For those wishing to adopt a forest, the CS said it would cost Sh215,000 for 10 hectares (24 acres) in three years.
KFS has been entering into frameworks of collaboration with state and non-state actors, who have adopted forest sites and blocks in different parts of the country.
Some 104 partners have in the last four years participated in growing trees on 52,736 hectares (130,313 acres).
Tuya said her ministry has prepared an elaborate strategy, which will be launched soon, to guide the achievement of the 30 per cent tree cover by 2032.
“This strategy will be rolled out with concerted efforts from all stakeholders including county governments, all ministries, state agencies and departments, corporates, learning institutions and faith–based organisations.”
Tuya said her ministry will engage 40 public primary schools per county (1,880 schools countrywide) to set up tree nurseries and water harvesting equipment and engage in growing of trees within the school compounds.
She said her ministry will also start a Green Army initiative to engage young Kenyans in putting up private tree nurseries and participating in tree planting.
Kenyans who will have planted a minimum of 300 trees will get 'green certificates', Tuya said.
“The certificates will be a way to motivate and recognise individuals and also enhance responsible citizenship,” she said.
The CS said Jaza Miti App will be used by farmers and tree growers to market their trees.
Tuya said the ministry is in the process of recruiting 300 forester cadre officers who will provide extension services and provide technical support to farmers.
She said the ministry will also enhance the agro-forestry programme to ensure all landowners commit a minimum of 10 per cent of their land to tree growing.
“This will include the planting of indigenous tree species, fruit trees, and commercial tree species to meet market demand, among other suitable species,” Tuya said.
The CS said forest-adjacent communities will be involved in the management of forest resources through Community Forest Associations.
There are more than 300 registered CFAs who have been working closely with the KFS.
Safaricom has been engaging in various tree-growing initiatives in forest blocks including Kakamega, South Marmanet, Kieni, Ontulili and Kimondi forests.
Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa said, "As a technology company, we will also develop and implement innovative ways of monitoring and tracking restoration activities in the adopted forests.”
Ndegwa said plans are underway for the company to go net zero by 2050.
Among the plans include using solar in its masts spread across the country, thereby avoiding the use of diesel.
Acting Chief Conservator of Forests Alex Lemarkoko said they have successfully concluded the recruitment of 1,900 rangers, currently reporting for training.
“In addition, an advertisement for 100 cadets and 300 foresters was done and the process of shortlisting successful candidates will be done in the coming days," he said.
"The enhanced staff component will greatly boost our operations which had been challenged by the high staff attrition mostly due to retirements.”