Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko has launched the Ngong Hills Forest Restoration Project as part of the national government initiative aimed at restoration and conservation of forests.
Speaking at Corner Baridi, Kajiado County during commemoration of the International Day of Forests, Tobiko underscored the significance of sustainable production and conservation of environmental resources to mitigate the effects of climate and achieve the presidential directive of a 10 per cent nationwide forest cover by the end of the year 2022.
“Our national forest cover has increased from 5.9 per cent in the year 2018 to 8.8 per cent in the year 2022. Our national tree cover is now at 12.1 cent. The success of environmental conservation and protection efforts depends on the participation and collaboration of the community in the management of natural resources for future generations,” he said.
On his part, the County deputy governor Martin Moshisho said the devolved unit is committed towards environmental conservation efforts citing the importance of sustainable use of natural resources to mitigate climate change.
“We all have a responsibility of protecting and conserving the environment. Tree and forest cover in Kajiado county had risen from 3.6 per cent to 7 per cent through collaborative efforts between county government and national government stakeholders in the county,” said Moshisho.
The Kenya Forest Services Chief Conservator of Forests Julius Kamau said the Kenya Forest Service has developed frameworks to reverse the effects of environmental degradation that has contributed to climate change through collaborative efforts with government and private stakeholders.
“When we invest in forests, we invest in communities and livelihoods and build resilience of communities and the economy against the negative effects of climate change.
In the last three years we have been able to reclaim 57,000 hectares of forest land. We have developed innovative ways to restore 400 000 hectares of degraded forest land,” said Kamau.
A total of 18 million trees have been planted nationwide to commemorate the International Day of Forests in line with the year 2022 theme, Forests and sustainable production and consumption to increase awareness on the role forests play in sustaining lives.