KAJIADO (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s First Lady Margaret Kenyatta on Saturday
called for urgent and bold actions to restore and protect the
country’s diminishing forest cover.
Margaret said it
will require the collective resolve and resilience of all
Kenyans to recover what has been wiped out through human actions
and the devastating effects of climate change.
“This is no longer a
waiting game. Our actions require urgent, bold, decisive
response from all stakeholders, both private and public to
promote behavioral change to address the threats posed by our
human actions,” she said at Kibiku forest, Ngong in Kajiado
According to the
environment ministry, the country’s forest cover currently
stands at 6.2 percent and the government has intensified efforts
to reach the UN target of 10 percent in the near future.
Kenyatta in December 2013 launched 80 million U.S. dollars
commercial tree growing project to help expand forest cover in
The First Lady had
joined scores of female members of the Kenya Defense Forces (KDF)
and Ministry of Environment officers in planting thousands of
trees to restore the 125ha forest.
Kibiku forest is
among five conservation areas adopted by the KDF for
restoration. The others are Ngong Hills, Thogoto and Oloolua
forests and Mareba Wetlands.
Under the KDF
Environmental Soldier Programme (ESP), security officers have so
far planted over 23 million trees in various forests across the
country including Kamae, Kipipiri, Mount Kenya, Suam, Mount
Elgon and Mau Eburu.
This financial year
alone, together with its partners, the KDF has planted 1.7
million trees and the ongoing activity targets to plant 3
million seedlings by the end of the current long rains,
specifically in Kibiku forest.
Secretary Keriako Tobiko said his ministry had planted another
20 million trees since March and the country hopes to meet the
10 percent, globally accepted tree cover by 2022.
He said there is a
direct connection between the environment, livelihoods and
security, hence the involvement of the KDF in conservation