President Uhuru sets an ambitious 30% target for forest cover by 2050 during the launch of Kenya’s Tree Growing Fund and campaign

May 31, 2022

President Uhuru Kenyatta (R), UNDP's Resident Representative Mr. Walid Badawi (C) and UN's Resident Coordinator Dr. Stephen Jackson (L) during the unveiling of Kenya's Tree Growing Fund Campaign

Nairobi, 27th May 2022 - President Uhuru Kenyatta has announced Kenya’s attainment of the Constitutional 10% tree cover target giving an even more ambitious national target of 30% by the Year 2050. As he made this announcement, the President launched Kenya’s National Tree Growing Fund and Campaign which coincides with the ongoing March-April-May (MAM) rainfall season. During the launch, he flagged off the national tree seedlings distribution programme that targets a total of 4,800 schools countrywide and 60 prison centres that will receive approximately 31,000kg and 1,000kg of seeds respectively for planting during this year’s long rains season.

The President made this announcement at a special Presidential Roundtable on Forestry Actions marking Kenya’s celebrations coinciding with the global Stockholm+50 anniversary activities. During this meeting, the President outlined the key achievement of his Government in the environment, natural resource management, climate change and resilience. Some of the key achievements highlighted by the President include the successful organization of the sustainable blue economy conference, Kenya’s transformative decision banning single-use plastics, Kenya’s contribution to the climate action agenda through the Paris Agreement where the country has been among the leading countries in Africa to submit ambitious emission targets, as well as great developments in reducing land degradation by submitting ambitious Land Degradation Targets to the United Nations Convention on Combating Desertification. The President also noted that Kenya has drastically reduced poaching while supporting the quest for a greener and cleaner Kenya.

These important achievements were announced during a special meeting held at State House Nairobi with several development partners from the United Nations, bilateral partners who are members of the Environment and Climate Change Donor Working Group, as well as members of the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) and the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM).

During the meeting, the United Nation Resident Coordinator Dr. Stephen Jackson congratulated Kenya for her steadfast commitment and support to the sustainable development agenda, emphasizing that the UN was ready to continue partnering with Kenya to achieve even greater results during the new United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF) expected to run from 2022-2026. The outgoing UNDP Resident Representative Mr. Walid Badawi highlighted UNDP’s interest and commitment to supporting Kenya’s Tree Growing Fund which has been designed by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry in close collaboration with five UN agencies (UNDP, UNEP, FAO, UNCDF and the MPTF). Mr. Badawi noted that the Tree Growing Fund is an innovative mechanism to facilitate local and global resource mobilization to secure $ 45 million that will deliver over 1.2 billion good quality seeds, enact a robust innovative forestry finance scheme, strengthen Kenya’s forestry governance, and roll out a robust tree growing campaign that will enable Kenya to meet her forestry climate action commitments.

The CEO of KEPSA, Ms. Carole Kariuki expressed the private sectors growing interest to support Kenya’s forestry and land restoration actions, mentioning that over 40 companies (including KAM, ABSA, EABL and the UN Global Compact) have so far contributed around KES 6 billion worth of seedlings towards this important national initiative. She expressed the importance of other private companies, locally and globally in joining this initiative to ensure Kenya does green her landscape, as a means of securing a better future for her current and future generations.

Speaking at the meeting, the Cabinet Secretary Hon. Keriako Tobiko thanked the President for his leadership that has enabled Kenya to meet such great milestones. The Cabinet Secretary echoed the rallying call of the President noting that the attainment of 30% forest cover would indeed cement Kenya’s acknowledged global leadership role as a champion for the environment and sustainable development. This is the same message that was articulated by the Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Dr. Chris Kiptoo.

At the State House meeting, the Government of Japan became the first bilateral partner to fund the programme through a contribution of approximately $2,680,898 to support re-afforestation and land restoration actions in three important ecosystems (Kakamega Forest, Kaptagat Forest Ecosystem and the Magadi-Suswa Ecosystem). This is through UNDP’s Climate Promises’ Forestry and Land Restoration Action for Kenya’s NDC (FLaRAK) project.

While unveiling Kenya’s Sustainable Tree Growing Fund, the President invited the global and local partners to wholeheartedly support the Government’s efforts to undertake urgent climate action that will ultimately save the globe from the perils of changing climates. 

“Here in Kenya, we are ready for the conservation business, and we mean business,” said President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Media contacts:

Martin Namasaka

Head of Communications, UNDP Kenya

Tel: 0742512139


Sheila Kimani

Communications Associate, UNDP Kenya


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