The Kenyan government has announced a special holiday during which the country's residents will plant 100 million trees.
Every Kenyan is encouraged to plant at least two saplings to help fight climate change, reports BBC.
Environment Minister Soipana Tuya emphasized that such a day off will allow every Kenyan to participate in tree planting. At forestry agency centres, Kenyans can plant saplings free of charge in designated public areas.
The article emphasized that the government provides about 150 million seedlings in state nurseries. People are also encouraged to buy at least two seedlings to plant on their own plot.
"Trees help fight global warming by absorbing carbon dioxide from the air and releasing oxygen into the atmosphere," explained the BBC.
The Kenyan government's goal is to plant 15 billion trees over 10 years, it said.
The article said that Kenyan President William Ruto and members of the Cabinet of Ministers, together with county governors and other officials, will lead the landing in various regions. Trees will not be planted only in the northeastern region, where large-scale floods occurred against the background of the El Niño climate phenomenon.
"I came here to plant trees because the water level in our river is going down. Even here, at the source of the river, the water level is very low, the trees have been cut down," said local resident Stephen Chelulei while planting trees at the source of the second longest river Kenya's Ati River.
It said the tree planting will be monitored by Jaza Miti, an online application that allows ordinary Kenyans and organizations to log actions, including the types of plants, their number and the date they were planted. The app will also help people plant appropriate saplings at specific locations.
The article emphasized that part of the Kenyan eco-community criticized the initiative. After all, a large part of the townspeople will only take advantage of the additional day off and will not join the landing. Also, part of the saplings are exotic trees, and the new forest must be planted in appropriate places from the "correct" trees.
In addition, the Kenyan government has been criticized for advocating tree planting but failing to curb illegal logging in community forests. Thus, the government recently lifted the ban on deforestation.
Tuya explained that this decision affected only forests intended for commercial purposes – about 5% of the total. This is necessary to meet local demand and create jobs. And the government is taking action against illegal loggers in other forests.
She added that the tree planting campaign will continue even after the weekend. It is expected that 500 million trees will be planted in the country by the end of the year.
Earlier, EcoPolitic wrote, that according to Global Forest Watch, during 2000-2020, the area of virgin forest landscapes (NFL) in the world has decreased by 155 million hectares, i.e. by 12%. The rate of disappearance of such forests has also increased over the past 20 years.
As EcoPolitic previously reported, researchers from the University of Maryland found that in 2022, the world about 11 football fields of forests were cut down every minute, and the total area reached more than 4 million hectares. This released the amount of carbon dioxide equivalent to the annual emissions of fossil fuels in of India.