On November 13th, the Kenyan government announced a surprise national holiday dedicated to mitigating the effects of climate change.
As of this year on the 13th of November, all Kenyan citizens will have the day off for a nationwide tree planting day. This public holiday aims to move Kenya closer to its 1.5 billion tree goal the government set this year. In order to facilitate this planting, the government made 150 million tree seedlings available to the public, and each Kenyan has been urged to engage in this day planting at least 2 saplings in designated public areas.
This year thousands gathered to start their planting. It is estimated that over 150 million trees were planted, which is a huge stride towards reaching the main 1.5 billion goal. It also greatly contributes to another goal set for Kenya by the last president, Kenyatta, which was to reach a forest cover of 30% by 2050.
Regarding Kenya in particular, there is a dire need for trees with only 7% of the country currently covered in the forest due to a variety of factors, many of them man-made such as illegal logging and industrial growth. Forests are crucial for facilitating rainfall, something desperately needed in Kenya as the country is plagued by drought.
At SKOOT, we plant with Eden reforestation at a designated site in Mombasa Kenya, called Tudor Creek. Eden works closely with the government to try and aid Kenya with its commitment to reforestation. Eden aims to connect with the local communities by building relationships with the local leaders who want both their community and their environment to thrive. Eden employs local people with a fair and constant wage which provides the employees with an economic incentive to ensure the well-being of the reforestation project. So far in Kenya alone, we have planted 194,000 trees making up almost 20% of the million trees SKOOT has planted in total.
Forests and reforestation projects are crucial for facilitating rainfall, something desperately needed in Kenya as the country is plagued by drought. Trees, through transpiration, release water vapor into the atmosphere, contributing to increased humidity. As this moist air rises and cools, it condenses to form clouds, ultimately leading to precipitation. With a lack of tree cover and subsequent rainfall, it means that many struggle to make an income in the farming industry which much of the population rely on to make a living.
Therefore focusing on reforestation is crucial for Kenya, and the Green Holiday will hopefully push the country in the right direction to rebuild their forests and their economy.
In a broader sense, reforestation is crucial for helping to mitigate the climate crisis.
Trees have a remarkable ability to sequester carbon dioxide during photosynthesis, actively working to reduce the levels of this greenhouse gas in our atmosphere. Whilst forests alone are not enough to absorb all the CO2 we release annually they certainly play a large role and when these are destroyed the concentration of greenhouse gasses only increases which exacerbates climate change.
Forests also play a crucial role in shaping the local weather, acting like nature's thermostat. They create a stable climate with just the right mix of heat and rain. But, when we cut down trees, this natural balance goes haywire. It gets hotter, rain patterns go awry, and winds shift. This disruption can spell trouble for local plants, agriculture, and water sources, making extreme weather events more common. Without forests, the land dries up, impacting crop growth and the well-being of surrounding plants. So, preserving our forests isn't just about trees; it's about safeguarding our weather and environment for a healthier planet.
Kenya stands among the pioneers in publicly committing to tree planting, setting an example for other nations to emulate. The blog has delved into the significance of tree planting, highlighting the need for other countries to take inspiration and follow suit. However, it should also inspire individuals to make their difference, at SKOOT we make this easy. Visit our website today to begin making your difference in climate mitigation.
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