Wednesday, June 23, 2021

PHOTO-2021-05-07-12-51-55_2Environment and Forestry Principal Secretary   Dr. Chris Kiptoo today held discussions with KOMAZA Forestry Limited on how best to increase seed production and financing tree growing in an endeavour to increase the national forest cover and hence mitigate the impact of climate change.

The PS called for concreted efforts from both the public and private sector towards this noble cause that seeks to support the Ministry’s target to increase the national forest cover by at least 10% by 2022, translating to the growing of 2billion trees in the said period.

Dr. Kiptoo appreciated the support from corporates towards the “2billion tree growing campaign by 2022”, rallying for more support toward this initiative. He paid gratitude to Equity, ABSA and I&M banks for donating millions seedlings toward the Campaign. He called on KOMAZA to embrace the planting of bamboo trees adding that the Ministry had developed the Bamboo Policy and was working on the Act, to encourage and regulate commercial bamboo growing.

The PS called on corporates, individuals and other stakeholders to registry with Kenya Forest Services (KFS) to develop tree nurseries nationally to support the production of seedlings towards the realization of the increased 10% forest cover. “The onus is thus upon us to improve our environment by growing as many trees as possible, towards this end, counties have been given a target to grow about 42million trees each towards the 2billion tree growing by 2022 campaign”, Dr. Kiptoo affirmed

“We have destroyed our environment through wanton destruction of our forests by felling trees, land degradation, loss of biodiversity and pollution of the environment and our water sources, we must therefore make peace with mother nature by pooling efforts towards the restoration and protection of our environment that will ultimately reduce our vulnerability to impact of climate change” Dr. Kiptoo reiterated.

PHOTO-2021-05-07-12-51-55In respect to commercialization of tree growing, the PS lauded efforts geared towards the commercialization of growing trees adding that other than commercial benefits, the initiative had a huge potential to improve our environment, create employment for the youth and women in particularly and hence mitigate the adverse impact of climate change.

PS Kiptoo said that there was a huge demand for wood products in the country that has necessitated importation of the same, adding that, “Kenya has the potential to cope with the demand for wood products if only we can increase the production of seedlings to grow more trees and encourage commercial tree growing ventures by both the public and private sectors”. Similarly, the PS called for adaptation and management of forests by corporates and individuals, as a strategy that would immensely support this initiative and increase tree growing.

Dr. Kiptoo affirmed the strategy so far employed by the Ministry aimed at increasing the national forest cover involved the engagement of public schools and prisons due to their huge tracks of land, availability of water and labour that are favorable towards the achievement of the increased national forest cover. These public instructions would will develop nurseries for massive production of seedlings towards the 2billion tress growing initiative.

The PS lauded KOMAZA Forestry Ltd. for their effort that has resulted in the production of 1.5 million seedlings with partnership with 25,000 smallholder farmers in Kilifi, Kwale and Nyandarua counties, for this planting season.

PHOTO-2021-05-07-12-51-55_1During the discussions, KOMAZA Forestry, Director External Relations Ms. Esther Mutuma, Managing Director briefed the meeting on the company’s achievement that has so far realized the planting of over 6,500 ha of forest across the coastal and central Kenya and the creation of 1,600ha of new forest in 2020.

Present were Secretary Forest Conservation Mr. Alfred Gichu, Dr. John Chumo- Secretary National Environmental Complaints Committee (NECC) and KOMAZA Vice-President Corporation and Strategy Mr. Tomo Kumahira.

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