Friday, December 6, 2019

Director of Admin., Mr. Henry Obino, flanked by the CCF, Mr. Julius Kamau and other KFS officials, planting a commemorative tree during the KENSJA tree planting campaign.

Journalists under the Kenya Environment and Science Journalists Association (KENSJA) joined hands to plant over 3,200 trees at Ngong forest as part of their contribution the country’s clamor for a 10 % tree cover.

The journalists from various media houses partnered with the Ministry of Environment , Kenya Forest Service, Kenya wildlife Service, and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) among others in the exercise.

Speaking during the event, Director of Administration in the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Henry Obino said the Government has made tremendous efforts to ensure there is no encroachment on government land and especially forests and water towers .Obino noted that currently huge acreage of land had been reclaimed  and put under trees adding the government intends to reforests over 22,000 hectares across the country.

“Between now, and the long rainy season of April – June 2020 we plan to plant 500 million trees to boost forest cover. We shall proceed to plant 600 million trees in financial year 2020/2021 and 800 million trees in 2021/2022 financial year to reach the 2 billion trees towards realization of world recommended 10 percent tree cover,” the Director said.

Chief Conservator of Forests (CCF) at the Kenya forest Service (KFS) Julius Kamau   said that the public is now aware of the connection between forests and their lives and that was why KFS was pushing planting of trees to increase the cover from the current 7.2 percent to 10 percent by 2022. “We have about 2.5 million hectares in public forests and are thus calling upon Kenyans including the private sector, media and local communities to change the story in terms of tree planting,” Kamau said.

The Director of Admin., Mr. Henry Obino, who represented the CS, Mr. Keriako Tobiko, addressing wananchi at Ngong, during the event.DSC_0278

He thanked the media for the role they play in advancing forest conservation in this country by informing the public the perils of forest degradation as well as the benefits of sustainable forest management. Kamau noted that the Ministry of Environment and Forestry is currently implementing a strategy that employs a multi-sector approach in pooling resources and technical capacity and would like to partner with members of the Fourth Estate especially in increasing the public’s awareness in new approaches to forestry management.

“This includes informing the public about new technologies and techniques in sustaining forestry in the drier parts of the country,” he noted. The CCF challenged KENSJA  to reach out to all journalists across the country saying that as a Service, they are willing and ready to partner with them to make the media tree planting exercise an annual national event.

KENSA Chairman Duncan Mboya said the goals of the journalists are to deliver science reporting in the country, mentor and nurture upcoming journalists and to engage stakeholders on matters of national interests.

“Today marks the beginning of another engagement for journalists that will help send a strong message to all citizens on matters tree planting towards meeting the country’s goal. As we were planning this event, we realized that we were planning a national exercise and therefore decided to bring all journalists who value environment on board, some of whom are nonmembers of the association,” he said. Mboya said that journalists were ready and will continue to partner with the government, KFS and other stakeholders in future tree planting and other environmental conservation efforts towards helping improve tree cover to the international levels and for the betterment of humanity.

The importance of forests for the general well-being of our country cannot be gainsaid since they support all aspects of our lives from being the most important source of energy for a vast majority of our population to supporting key sectors of the economy in the agricultural, energy, manufacturing and tourism sectors among others while also regulating the environment by sequestering carbon to give us clean air.  

Staff from the Public Communications of the Ministry and its SAGA’s taking part during the KENSJA tree planting campaign

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