Kenya has issued a clarion call to local and global partners, through the Ministry of Environment Climate Change and Forestry, urging them to support a monumental tree-planting initiative aimed at cultivating 15 billion trees by 2032.

The ambitious project, unveiled at the COP28 climate conference in Dubai, demands a financial commitment of Sh500 billion, with an annual budget of Sh50 billion.

The scope of this initiative encompasses Kenya's gazetted forests, wetlands, grasslands, mountains, water towers, mangroves, and coastal ecosystems.

The Ministry has identified critical areas requiring intervention, including seedling propagation, fencing, ecosystem adoption for restoration, nurseries, logistical support, and communication campaigns.

At the heart of this endeavour is the goal of restoring and conserving 10.6 million hectares of degraded landscapes and ecosystems, ultimately achieving a 30 per tree cover in Kenya by 2032.

This initiative aligns with the National Landscape and Ecosystems Restoration Strategy, designed to coordinate efforts in rehabilitating seven degraded landscapes and ecosystems.

Highlighting the urgency of addressing degradation drivers, the Ministry emphasized the importance of preventative, halting, and reversal strategies.

The comprehensive plan involves growing 15 billion trees by 2032, with a focus on seven key ecosystems: forests, agroecosystems, wetlands, rangelands, settled areas, mountain ecosystems, and marine ecosystems.

"The 15 billion trees planting initiative is not just a constitutional requirement; it holds economic benefits, fosters employment, and increases forest products. Moreover, it contributes to climate change mitigation, aligning with SDG 13 Climate Action and the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) world target to reduce global warming," stated the Ministry.

"Additionally, it enhances community resilience to climate change and natural disasters, biodiversity conservation, and the restoration of degraded landscapes and ecosystems."

Kenyan Cabinet Secretaries Soipan Tuya (Forestry) and Njuguna Ndung’u (Treasury) spearheaded a presentation at a side event session during COP28 in Dubai, joined by other delegates, including representatives from the World Bank.

The collaborative effort seeks to secure the necessary support and funding to turn this ambitious tree-planting vision into a reality for Kenya.