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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Kenya’s business lobby partner with learn-
ing institutions to boost forest cover   

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) will partner with public schools to promote tree planting and help expand the country’s forest cover, the lobby said in a statement issued in Nairobi on Monday.

Amina Mohamed, the Cabinet Secretary for Education, has witnessed the launch of the private sector-led initiative to boost forest cover in the country amid threats linked to climate change, population pressure and urbanization.

“Taking care of our environment is everyone’s responsibility and a partnership between the business community and learning institutions will help reverse declining forest cover that threatens sustainable development in the country,” Mohamed said.

She noted that Kenya is on course to meet the UN recommended national forest cover of 10 percent thanks to a robust public-private partnership coupled with political goodwill.

President Uhuru Kenyatta on May 12 launched a multi- million dollar national tree planting initiative that aims to expand forest cover in the country from the current 7 to 10 percent by 2022.

Kenyatta launched the initiative against a backdrop of a severe flooding crisis linked to depletion of critical buffers like forests and wetlands, which had claimed close to 200 Kenyans during the March-May long rains season.

Mohamed said political goodwill has injected fresh impetus in national reforestation programs that underpins Kenya’s quest to become a green economy powerhouse.

The corporate social responsibility arm of Kenya’s private sector lobby will spearhead the new tree planting campaign domiciled in learning institutions countrywide.

Rachael Muthoga, the Deputy CEO of KEPSA, said modern businesses have recognized the critical role of environmental sustainability to improve their revenue streams and brand visibility.

“There is need for all stakeholders to promote environmental sustainability that is a prerequisite to tackle poverty, food insecurity and infectious diseases in the country,” said Muthoga.

She emphasized that restoration of degraded forests and water catchments will stimulate economic growth in Kenya.

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