Deforestation in Kenya all but destroyed the country’s forests, but now Kenyans plan to plant a forest the size of Costa Rica to redress the damage, according to Quartz Africa.
In the early 1960s Kenya forests covered around 10% of Kenya. By 2006 that figure was just 1.7%.
In 2009 Kenya pledged to restore the deforested areas over the subsequent 20 years, and on September 8th 2016, the country renewed its vow, stating it would replenish 5.1 million hectares of destroyed Kenya forests.
Environment Minister Pledges Restoration of Kenya Forests
Environment minister of Kenya, Ms Judy Wakhungo, said the plan would give Kenyans “the opportunity to reduce poverty, to improve food security, to address climate change and to conserve our valued biodiversity.”
Previous efforts at reforestation of Kenya forests were disturbed by land disputes, illegal logging and political disagreements. The Kenyan government has promised a “coherent and systematic effort” so that reforestation goes to plan this time.
The economic motive to aid reforestation of Kenya Forests is certainly there, as deforestation is estimated to cost Kenya $68 million (5.8 billion Kenyan shillings) per year. And of course the ecological motive is clear too, with Kenya contributing towards the spiralling scale of deforestation worldwide.