Kenya’s private sector has to date contributed a total of Ksh6,448,998,000 to the national tree growing campaign, in an effort to further demonstrate the sector’s commitment to engage in public-private partnerships anchored on sustainable solutions geared towards increasing Kenya’s forest cover.
Speaking during the launch of the accelerated national tree growing campaign at State House Nairobi on May 27, 2022, Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) CEO Ms Carole Kariuki expressed the commitment of the business community to partnering with the Government in combating the challenges arising from climate change.
Ms Kariuki noted that the Government through the Ministry of Environment and Forestry has been leading efforts to accelerate the attainment and maintenance of at least 10 percent of tree and forest cover in the country. Through a multistakeholder approach and support from partners drawn from the public, private and civil society sectors, Kenya’s tree and forest cover currently stood at 12 percent and 8.8 percent respectively, a great achievement and an assurance of Kenya’s commitment to realizing her national and global targets.
President Uhuru Kenyatta on his part noted that his government had placed the environment at the center of his economic development, observing that the roundtable meeting signified the start of an ambitious but fulfilling journey of increasing Kenya’s forest cover to at least 30 percent by 2050. He called on the private sector to continue supporting this agenda and reiterated that Kenya will continue honoring commitments to combating climate change and being the benchmark for global action in commemoration of the Stockholm+50 conference.
In his remarks, C.S Keriako Tobiko noted that in 2013, Kenya’s forest cover stood at 7.2 percent and dropped to 5.9 percent in 2018. He appreciated the progress made through Public Private partnerships which have led to the current 8.8 percent and 12.13 percent forest and tree cover respectively. While appreciating the Private sector’s contribution to this achievement, the C.S noted that “This was not just philanthropic but a commitment to build a more sustainable future.”
As a partner to the national tree growing campaign, one of KEPSA’s key strategic pillars is sustainability and more so sustainability actions anchored on nature-based solutions and promoting a circular economy. To firm up KEPSA’s commitment, KEPSA’s CEO Ms Carole Kariuki announced the forest action measures undertaken by the private sector such as adoption of forests and water towers, tree growing in partnership with schools countrywide, TVET institutions, colleges and universities, the National Prisons Service, regional development authorities and county governments and innovations in the replacement of heavy fuel oils in factories through sustainable fuel alternatives such as biomass and the installation of biomass factories boilers.