//Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife Launches Initiative for Tourists to Plant Trees, Promoting Sustainable Tourism – 10/05/2024

Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife Launches Initiative for Tourists to Plant Trees, Promoting Sustainable Tourism – 10/05/2024

 In a groundbreaking move aimed at bolstering its commitment to environmental conservation and sustainable tourism, the cabinet secretary Tourism and Wildlife Dr Alfred Mutua  has announced an ambitious plan to ensure that every tourist visiting the country plants a tree. This initiative, dubbed “One Tree per Tourist,” marks a significant step forward in the nation’s efforts to mitigate climate change and preserve its rich biodiversity.

The initiative, set to be rolled out in collaboration with all stakeholders, particularly hotels and tourism agencies, will require tourists to plant a tree during their visit to Kenya. Even those visiting highly urbanized areas like Nairobi will have the opportunity to contribute to this eco-friendly endeavor by planting trees in designated areas to be called “Tourism Forests Kenya.”

Kenya, renowned for its breathtaking landscapes, diverse wildlife, and vibrant culture, has long been a popular destination for travelers from around the globe. However, the country recognizes the need to balance tourism growth with environmental protection, particularly in the face of climate change and deforestation.

“We believe that sustainable tourism goes hand in hand with environmental conservation,” said Dr Mutua.  “By engaging tourists in tree-planting activities, we not only enhance their experience but also empower them to become active participants in preserving our natural heritage.”

“The “One Tree per Tourist” initiative aims to demonstrate Kenya’s dedication to increasing its tree cover and combating climate change. By encouraging tourists to plant trees, the country seeks to offset carbon emissions, promote biodiversity, and create green spaces for future generations to enjoy”, said Dr Mutua.

The Cabinet secretary was speaking in Taita Taveta where in a resolute demonstration of Kenya’s commitment to environmental conservation and combating climate change, he led ministry staff and personnel from associated parastatals in a tree-planting exercise within the Lumo Community Wildlife Conservancy, nestled within the vast expanse of the Tsavo Conservation Area.

The initiative, forming part of an ambitious national endeavor to plant 15 billion trees over the next decade, saw Dr. Mutua personally plant over 100 trees, symbolizing the government’s determination to achieve a 30 percent national forest cover by 2032. 28 000 tree seedlings were planted during the exercise.

Accompanied by key figures including the Principal  Secretary of the State Department of Tourism, John Ololtuaa, chief executive officers of parastatals, chairs of boards, and members, as well as the Governor of Taita Taveta County  Andrew Mwadime,  Dr. Mutua emphasized the critical role of conservation in sustaining Kenya’s vibrant tourism industry.

“Tourism heavily relies on the preservation of biodiversity and ecosystems,” noted Dr. Mutua. “Tree-planting remains a continuous and pivotal exercise undertaken by my ministry to safeguard our natural heritage.”

Highlighting the urgency of the task ahead, Dr. Mutua announced that tree-planting initiatives would become a monthly fixture within his ministry’s agenda, with the aim of rapidly achieving the target of 50 million trees per year and half a billion trees over the next ten years. The ministry targets to plant and grow 3 million trees  within and around the Taita Taveta ecosystem.

The event coincided with the national holiday declared by the government, enabling citizens across the country to engage in similar tree-planting activities. The day also served as a poignant moment to commemorate those who have tragically lost their lives as a result of the adverse impacts of climate change, exacerbated by extreme weather events such as heavy rains.

As nations around the world grapple with the escalating threats posed by climate change, Kenya’s proactive stance, as epitomized by initiatives such as today’s tree-planting exercise, underscores its unwavering commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainability.

By | 2024-05-14T10:42:53+00:00 May 14th, 2024|News&events|0 Comments

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