Kenya to plant 1.8 billion trees as UN report calls for safeguarding biodiversity

Kenya's Ministry of Environment and Forestry pledged to plant an additional 1.8 billion trees as efforts to reverse biodiversity loss on Friday, the International Day for Biological Diversity.

Keriako Tobiko, cabinet secretary in the Ministry of Environment and Forestry of Kenya, said that the 1.8 billion trees will be planted by 2022 to help conserve biodiversity hotspots in the country.

"We owe it to ourselves and to future generations and are committed to ensuring that biodiversity will be conserved and protected to continue providing benefits to the people of Kenya," Tobiko said in a statement on the International Day for Biological Diversity.

He said that sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystem services is not only the key to economic development but also important to human advancement.

Tobiko said that Kenya has put in place a range of interventions to tackle biodiversity loss the government has put in place an ambitious action plan that aims to halt the loss of iconic plant and animal species since the country is a nature-based economy, with natural resources supporting 80 percent of the economy.

Also on Friday, UN released the latest edition of The State of the World's Forests, calling for urgent action to be taken to safeguard the biodiversity of the world's forests amid alarming rates of deforestation and degradation.

The report was produced by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in partnership, for the first time, with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and technical input from the UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC).

The report reveals that some 420 million hectares of forest have been lost through conversion to other land uses since 1990, although the rate of deforestation has decreased over the past three decades.

The COVID-19 crisis has thrown into sharp focus the importance of conserving and sustainably using nature, recognizing that people's health is linked to ecosystem health, according to the report.

The report calls for the protection of forests since they harbor most of the Earth's terrestrial biodiversity.

(All images via VCG) 

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Source(s): Xinhua News Agency