Environment and Forestry Chris Kiptoo says over one million tree seedlings are ready for planting

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More than one million tree seedlings have been grown. They are ready for planting in Kaptagat Forest, Kenya’s Rift Valley, by Community Forest Association, with the help of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry and other partners.

Speaking during an inspection of conservation projects supported by NETFUND towards community empowerment, PS Kiptoo appreciated efforts by the local community in raising seedlings and restoring Kaptagat Forest.

“I am encouraged by what the community has achieved; we are encouraging such ventures to commercialise the sector through our partners who are willing to buy the seedings,” he said.

The PS expressed satisfaction in the ongoing restoration efforts in Kaptagat Forest ecosystem by the community, the Government and other partners, where over 100,000 hectares of degraded land have been restored.

“The national tree cover has increased from 6.9% to 8.7%. We expect to reach 10% by the end of the year and increase even to a higher target because seedlings are available for planting now,” said the PS.

The PS called on the local community to be good stewards of the environment and form a social fence to benefit from forest resources.

He said the nature-based projects were positively impacting livelihoods while mitigating the effects of climate change.

Dr Kiptoo said the triple planetary crises of climate change, waste and pollution and loss of biodiversity need agent action to address to avert a future crisis through collective efforts.

Elizabeth Kigen, the Chairlady of Tumaini Women Group, through the help of The National Environment Trust Fund, said the group has grown over 450,000 exotic fruit trees and horticultural seedlings.

The chairman of Penon CFA, Luke Cherigat, said they have raised over 600,000 seedings and target to grow over one million seedlings by the end of the year.

The PS also visited sites where trees were planted previously during the annual Kaptagat tree planting events to assess the survival rates.

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