Responding to the news that the Ministry of Environment and Forestry has pledged to plant 1.8 billion trees by 2022 as efforts to reverse biodiversity loss in the country, Greenpeace Africa’s Campaigner, Amos Wemanya has said:
“Greenpeace Africa commends the government’s efforts to protect Kenya’s biodiversity especially forests. In addition to planting trees, there is also a need for the government to put enhanced measures to curb forest degradation and illegal logging of existing public and community forests which has led to the destruction of water towers and other catchment areas.
“Healthy ecosystems are vital for humans’ survival and wellbeing. Biodiversity loss and degradation undermine the provision of valuable services such as the supply of food and natural resources that affect livelihoods. Loss of biodiversity contributes to the existing challenge of the climate crisis and reduces the ability of affected communities to build resilience.
“More diverse ecosystems are resilient to stresses and enable societal and environmental functioning under different stresses. For instance, trees hold water and reduce the effects of flooding. Deforestation and commercial agricultural activities are degrading Kenya’s biodiversity and exposing Kenyans to the risk of extreme weather events.
“To shield Kenyans from the effects of the climate crisis and to protect lives and livelihoods, the government needs to up their efforts by protecting Kenya’s forests and promote agricultural practices that safeguard Kenya’s biodiversity. Practices such as ecological farming protect soil, water and climate, promote agroforestry and do not contaminate the environment with chemical inputs.”