President Ruto launches tree restoration program to combat climate change

On Wednesday, President William Ruto launched a tree restoration program at Ngong Hills Forest in an effort to combat the effects of climate change in the country.

The initiative, which aims to plant 15 billion trees by 2032, will work to reduce greenhouse emissions, stop and reverse deforestation, and restore 5.1 million hectares of deforested and degraded landscapes through the African Landscape Restoration Initiative.

The President also planted 56 trees to mark his 56th birthday, while other counties in Kenya participated in similar events and planted a total of 560,000 trees.

In addition to the tree planting efforts, the government has also launched a program to distribute 1,000 tonnes of seeds to 18 seed centers across the country, which will produce 15 billion seedlings by 2032.

These seedlings will be grown on 10.6 million hectares of degraded forests and rangelands, with the goal of increasing Kenya’s national tree cover beyond 30%.

The initiative is expected to create 320,000 direct jobs in seedling production, tree planting and maintenance, and other related efforts.

To further protect the environment, President Ruto also commissioned a test run of biodegradable potting tubing bags to replace plastic tubing bags, in fulfillment of the plastic pollution resolution adopted by the United Nations during UNEA 5.2 in Nairobi.

He also announced plans to launch an application called #JazaMiti, which will allow every Kenyan and institution to document their tree planting and monitor the growth of trees over time.

Cabinet Secretary Soipan Tuya encouraged every Kenyan to plant 30 trees per year, or 300 in 10 years, in order to reach the goal of planting 15 billion trees in two phases.

The first phase, from now until 2027, will involve planting five billion trees, while the second phase, from 2027 to 2032, will focus on planting an additional 10 billion trees.

Tuya also urged Kenyans to refrain from cutting down trees for use as Christmas trees, and instead opt for artificial trees or natural decorations.

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