Kenya, Colombia hold bilateral talks in Nairobi

Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko has held a bilateral meeting with Colombia Minister for Environment Carlos Eduardo Correa, at the sidelines of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA5.2).

The CS commended Colombia for their target to restore 16 million hectares of degraded landscapes in two months terming their targets and timelines as profound and mind-boggling.

The CS said to address deforestation in Kenya the government has embarked on re afforestation efforts through tree planting campaigns that has increased Kenya’s forest cover to 8.8% from 5% in 2018. It has also embraced bamboo growing owing to its versatility.

The government was also able to recover 30,000 hectares of forest land illegally acquired that has been fenced off to allow natural regeneration. Through the Bonn challenge the Government committed to restore 5.1 million hectares of degraded land by 2030.

The adopt a forest initiative the CS said that allows individuals, corporates, embassies, missions to adopt part of or the entire forest has enabled government to restore 18,000 hectares of forests.

On co-ownership model the CS said there are no enough rangers to protect the 2.59 million hectares of gazetted forests hence the need for promotion of livelihoods programmes for forest adjacent communities.

On mitigation and adaptation to climate change CS Tobiko said in the updated Nationally Determined Contributions Kenya has increased its ambition to 32% reduction of Greenhouse gases against business as usual. The country is also finalizing it’s Long Term Strategy.

On his part Minister Eduardo said Colombia is working on two legislations to address the vagaries of climate change.

Colombia the Minister said which has a forest cover of 52% forest cover faces the challenges of deforestation.

It’s government has made interventions which include Military reafforestation campaigns, community involvement in forest conservation, energy transition, education and awareness for behavior change among others.

The bilateral was attended by Colombian Ambassador to Kenya H.E Monica De Greiff, NEMA DG, Mamo Mamo, KEFRI Director Dr Joshua Cheboiwo among others.

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