Kenya embarks on an ambitious project to plant 15 billion trees over the next decade in the hopes of curbing the cycle of recurring droughts and restoring more than 10 million hectares of land.
The project “will be undertaken by youth and women groups, civil society, community, and religious organizations, leveraging on the private sector and government financing,” explains Kenyan President William Ruto. “To ensure sustainable funding, Kenya is developing policies and strategies to tap into the global carbon market opportunities, accessible through carbon trading.”
Five billion trees will be planted in the first five years, and an additional ten billion by 2032. Authorities intend to recruit 2,700 forest rangers and 600 forest officers to support the program. In the wake of the upcoming World Climate Summit taking place in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, the newly elected Kenyan President Ruto wants to position himself as a green champion. He already joined global and regional campaigns designed to curb climate change through tree planting, including the African Union-led $8 billion Great Green Wall Initiative whose goal is to halt the degradation of the Sahel’s landscape. Kenya’s national electricity grid is 90% sourced from renewables – underground steam, wind, and solar. Ruto urges African countries to adopt clean energy sources. “Rather than trudging in the fossil-fuel footsteps of those who went before, we can leapfrog this dirty energy.”