NAIROBI — Kenya’s Ministry of Environment and Forestry said on Friday that plans are at an advanced stage to launch a tree growing fund and hasten the attainment of 10 percent forest cover in the country.
Alfred Gichu, conservation secretary in the Ministry of Environment and Forestry said that the initiative will avail special funding for tree growing as part of Kenya’s global initiative toward combating climate change.
The initiative is expected to play a key role in improving Kenya’s tree cover. Kenya is already in discussion with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) toward entering into a financial agreement for funding the initiative.
Chris Kiptoo, principal secretary in the Ministry of Environment and Forestry said that there are plans to plant and grow two billion trees in the country by the end of 2022. And the government is reaching out to the private sector to help mobilize support for the tree planting campaign.
Kiptoo said that Kenya Forestry Research Institute has improved its seed production capacity to produce 300 tons of seeds, equivalent to some 2.5 billion – 3 billion seedlings per year. So far 4,800 schools and 66 prisons have been identified as additional tree growing areas in the country.
Kenya has developed a national strategy for achieving and maintaining 10 percent tree cover by 2022 while enhancing the protection and conservation of the existing 4.18 million hectares of forest cover.
According to the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, the country requires 48.7 billion shillings (about 445.6 million U.S. dollars) to achieve the envisaged forest cover by the end of 2022.