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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Kenya to partner with private sector to boost forest cover       

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya plans to partner with the private sector in order to boost the country’s forest cover, a senior government official said on Saturday.

Keriako Tobiko, the Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, told a media briefing in Nairobi that approximately 7.2 percent of the country’s land mass is under forest cover against a target of 10 percent by end of 2022.

“In order to complement government resources, we will collaborate with the private sector to increase the country’s forest cover,” Tobiko said during a tree planting campaign.

He said a nationwide tree planting campaign will soon be launched where 25 million seedlings will be planted in a single day.

The Kenya Forest Service has 1 million seedlings in its stock while the private sector is expected to contribute the rest for national tree planting exercise.

In February, Kenya imposed a 90-day logging ban on all public forests as it seeks to streamline harvesting of timber in public and community forests.

The Ministry of Environment said uncontrolled logging, encroachment on forest land and charcoal production has led to enormous environmental degradation.

Tobiko said forests play a key role in national development because they help to attract rainfall as well as in combating climate change by absorbing carbon emissions.

He noted that in order for the reforestation initiative to be successful Kenyans must be fully involved in planting trees or donating towards the planting of trees.

           

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