Samsung Electronics East Africa in partnership with Friends of Karura Community Forest Association on Monday completed the planting of over 10,000 trees in Karura forest in an effort to enhance the country’s forest cover to 10% by 2020. This comes at time when a report by the ministry of environment and natural resources revealed that the country’s forest cover had significantly increased to 7% last year and there was need for more efforts to enable the country achieve the recommended 10% cover.
Early this year the ministry of Environment and Natural Resources imposed a blanket ban on logging, citing concerns about declining forestry coverage. The embargo is still in place in public and community forests and prohibits the logging and transportation of timber.
Samsung East Africa, Head of Marketing and Corporate Citizenship Patricia Kingori said environmental conversation was one of the organisation’s corporate citizenship pillars and there was urgent need to address the effects of environmental degradation issues and challenges facing the country.
“We are glad to participate in this initiative that goes a long way in safeguarding our environment and natural resources as they are valuable national assets that must be sustainably managed for present and future generations”, Ms Kingori added. She said the trees planted will in the long run improve air quality by filtering harmful dust and pollutants that are occasioned by deforestation and other human activities around and within the forest adding that the trees will go a long way in improving the face of Karura forest.
In addition to environmental conversation, the exercise has created new job opportunities for communities around Karura forest, as they are involved in preparing the sites for planting by clearing non-indigenous bushes and invasive weeds, digging holes and watering seedlings.
The Friends of Karura Forest is a Community Forest Association comprising of Kenyans and other supporters of participatory forest management whose mission is to protect for future generations the city’s largest green area. The Karura Forest reserve has been lauded as one of the best places to visit in Nairobi and has also become a family recreation destination averaging 20,000 visitors per month.
The 1,041-hectare, located within the northern boundary of Nairobi city is home to over 200 bird species and numerous forest mammals, and is one of the largest urban gazetted forests in the world.