In the wake of COVID-19 pandemic the national tree planting activities were down scaled due to closure of institutions and guidelines for people to stay at home. The ministry is now concentrating efforts in the Nairobi metropolitan area, while regional heads of conservancies are spearheading tree planting activities within their areas of jurisdiction, with top government officials taking lead in tree planting exercises.
Efforts have been on going to support tree planting in public forest areas while families and individuals are encouraged to plant trees on their land.
Spearheaded mainly by head of government ministries, focus has mainly been to protect water catchment areas by planting the right species of trees and undertaking massive afforestation programs targeting degraded forest landscapes and the farmlands. These interventions have the capacity to address the devastating floods and landslides that we have witnessed in the country.
Present times, especially with the COVID 19 PANDEMIC are particularly challenging, and demand the best work and unrelenting commitment from all of us. With the climate crisis manifesting worldwide and affecting rural communities the most, in parallel with a new economic crisis looming in Kenya and over the world, preserving nature and planting trees in partnership with local communities has become tougher task than ever before.
Three critical events take place in 2020 amidst the COVID PANDEMIC namely:
22nd April 2020 – Earth day, theme: Climate action – giving thought to not only the enormous challenge but also the vast opportunities of action on climate change.
21st May 2020 – International day of Biological diversity, theme: Our solutions are in nature -emphasising hope, solidarity and the importance of working together at all levels to build a future of life in harmony with nature.
5th June 2020 – World Environment Day with the theme as Biodiversity – Urging the world to join hands to celebrate and pass onto future generations the understanding and awareness of biodiversity.
All the events summed up together have the critical responses for the environment as 2020 has presented to the world a year for urgency, ambition and action to address the crisis facing nature; it is also an opportunity to more fully incorporate nature-based solutions into global climate action.
With the crises the need to identify powerful platforms to accelerate, amplify and engage people, communities and governments around the world to take action on critical environmental challenges facing the planet. The earth has the opportunity to heal and one thing we all agree is we need the planet more than it needs us.
We must learn to consume with care as nature is unforgiving.