NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 21 – The Ministry of Environment and Forestry has welcomed plans by the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) to step up environmental conservation initiatives including the planting of more than three million trees at Kibiku and Ololua forests.
The KDF officers under the Environmental Soldier Program, have been undertaking key environmental conservation initiatives in various parts of the country.
As part of the KDF’s commitment to protect our natural resources, the military officers have undertaken to plant and nurture two million indigenous trees at Kibiku forest and a further one million indigenous trees at Ololua forest.
The involvement of the military officers in the restoration of depleted Kibiku and Ololua forest sections comes hot on the heels of the recent replacement of all Kenya Forest Service officers previously deployed at the Kibiku, Ololua, Thogoto and Ngong Road forest stations.
The replacement of the KFS officers earlier this month was undertaken due to widespread destruction of the crucial forest sites.
Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko while welcoming the KDF officers’ participation in environmental regeneration initiatives, said the ministry has commenced plans to integrate County, disciplined forces, public and private sector leadership teams in the ongoing national tree planting campaign.
To mark the International Day of Forests 2018, members of the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) joined CS Tobiko at Kibiko forest to plant tree seedlings as part of the National Tree Planting campaign.
As part the government’s efforts to foster sustainable environmental conservation including forest cover expansion and urban greening programs, Tobiko confirmed that plans are underway to involve and partner with key stakeholders to undertake tree planting, key rivers clean-up and general enforcement of solid waste management programs.
Speaking when he led events to mark the International Day of Forests 2018, Tobiko said the partnership with the County Government Leadership Teams, under the auspices of the Council of Governors (CoG) will see the prioritization of key initiatives including the Nairobi River clean up and restoration.
“Protecting our environment and forests is a shared responsibility that we shall relentlessly pursue to make our cities, among other urban and rural towns, environmental centres of excellence,” Tobiko said, adding that, “In partnership with County leadership teams among other partners, we intend to achieve a 10pc tree cover by the year 2022 and I am glad various groups including the disciplined forces, public agencies, educational institutions and corporate organisations are taking the lead.”
Marked under the theme: Forests and Sustainable Cities and with a clarion call to make our cities greener, healthier, happier places to live, other events to celebrate the International Day of Forests 2018 were also marked at Wangari Maathai Corner, Karura Forest with various other teams converging to plant more than 10,000 trees.
Given the unique positioning of Nairobi, Kenya as the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) global headquarters, Tobiko said plans to restore the city’s glory as the City in the sun, have been stepped up in partnership with the County Government among other stakeholders.