The Ministry of Environment and Forestry has today signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the State Department of Correctional Services (Kenya Prisons service) to collaborate in the production of 12.5 million seedlings as part of the ongoing national campaigns for accelerated achievement and maintenance of over 10% tree cover in the country.
The partnership will see the Kenya Prisons Service kickstart the planting of the seedlings in 43 prisons across the country ahead of the long rains. On its part, the ministry will provide quality seeds to Kenya Prisons Service as well as technical expertise in the development of the nurseries for seedlings production.
Speaking during the MOU signing ceremony at the Ruiru GK Prisons, Dr. Chris Kiptoo, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forestry, reiterated the ministry’s commitment to planting and maintaining two billion trees by 2022 through the 10 percent tree cover strategy by working with the various Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
“As the Ministry, we are proud of working with like minded partners in the ongoing efforts to achieve the 10 percent tree cover. We urge more partners to come onboard and support this national campaign,” said Dr Kiptoo.
The Ministry is currently rolling out the nationwide campaign involving massive seedlings production and tree growing program across the country. The program is being implemented through a broad partnership and collaboration with other Ministries, County Governments, NGOs, Corporate organisations, faith-based organisations, communities, and the private sector. The program envisions a multi-faceted approach that will include seed collection, processing and distribution, seedlings production, tree planting, nurturing and environmental education.
On her part, the Permanent Secretary, State Department of Correctional Services Ms. Safina Kwekwe said: “We are happy to be part and parcel of this very important initiative and pledge our support to ensure the country has enough seedlings ahead of the long rains.”
The State Department of Correctional Services, through the Kenya Prisons Service, had committed to invest in its facilities to produce 50 million seedlings, and the activities have been subsequently upscaled to raise its ambition to 500 million seedlings.
Last week on the side-lines of UNEP@50 celebrations, the Ministry launched the national Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) Strategy to boost restoration of degraded land and indigenous forests. The REDD+ Strategy provides a framework for improved forestry governance, resource allocation, partnerships and collaboration with state and non-state actors. It also emphasises monitoring to enable the sector to contribute to the achievement of the country’s growth within a sustainable environment framework.