, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 12 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has outlined policy measures that will boost Kenya’s forest cover from the current 7 per cent to the globally accepted minimum of 10 per cent by planting over 1.5 billion trees in the course of his term.
Speaking during the launch of the National Tree Planting Initiative at the Moi Forces Academy in Nairobi, the President said the government will introduce tax rebates on forest products to create opportunities for innovation for the young people, all aimed at liberating the energy and enterprise opportunities for the youth.
“We in government see the potential for new green jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities for our young people,” he said.
The Government will also encourage the uptake of green bonds to finance green projects and mainstream climate change in the school curriculum.
The head of state also announced the establishment of a Presidential Environment Award Scheme to honor those who distinguish themselves as environmentalists.
President Kenyatta emphasised that the government has already offered a framework for engagement with communities, stakeholders and private partners through the Forest Conservation and Management Act and the National Forest Programme.
He said the national government is working with the counties to develop Transitional Implementation Plans for devolved forest functions and called on the counties to implement these plans.
President Kenyatta said the new policy calls for a careful matching of effort between the counties and all arms of the national government.
He said environmental conservation and forest development must be more prominent if the country is to achieve the ambitious goals of the Big Four agenda.