KUSI: Reforestation seen as a major mitigation of climate change in Africa

Africa’s forest cover has been on a major decline weakening the ability of the continent to mitigate the effects of climate change.

Important progress on sustainable forest management and conservation has been made at the UN Climate Change Conference COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh with the launch of the Forest and Climate Leaders’ Partnership (FCLP), which aims to unite action by governments, businesses, and community leaders.

The Partnership aims to boost action to implement a commitment made by over 140 countries at COP26 in Glasgow last year to halt forest loss and land degradation by 2030 and to convert ambition into results on the ground.

Reducing deforestation, restoring, conserving, and better managing natural and productive landscapes are crucial strategies to reduce vulnerability to the impacts of climate change and store carbon in the land.

In addition, it supports livelihoods and protects ecosystem biodiversity while boosting agricultural productivity for low-carbon and climate-resilient economies and societies at large.

Last month, President William Ruto said the government is targeting to plant five million trees in the next five years to increase Kenya’s forest cover which is currently estimated at 3.6 million hectares or 6.1 per cent of the country.

Environment and Forestry CS Soipan Tuya has urged Kenyans to move from just planting trees to growing and ensuring that the trees mature.

Nation Media Group created the Kusi Ideas Festival four years ago as a pan-African platform to examine our continent’s place in the world; its citizen’s problem-solving ideas and innovations; and how these prepare us to deal with the coming challenges.

This is living up to our mission to be the “Media of Africa for Africa”, which aims to contribute to shaping the agenda of positioning Africa as a leading player in global politics and economics. Previous festivals have been held in Kigali, Rwanda, in 2019, Kisumu, Kenya, in 2020, and Accra, Ghana, in 2021.

Africa continues to be among the worst hit by the consequences of climate change, despite having contributed the least to global warming and having the lowest emissions. Climate change has become the existential threat of our time.

This year’s festival will therefore revolve around the theme, “Climate Change: Exploring African Responses and Solutions” and will explore the impact of the warming climate on the continent – from its impact on our food security to the financing and technology needed to mitigate its impact on its environment and the people.

This edition of the festival, slated for the first week of December, will be hosted on the backdrop of COP27, which will just have been concluded in Egypt.

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