International Day of Forest (21st March, 2019)

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The forest is a complex ecosystem consisting of a variety of trees that buffer the earth and support a myriad of life forms. The trees help create a special environment which, in turn, affects the kinds of animals and plants that can exist in the forest. The 2019 theme for this event isForests and Education”.

We all depend on forest for one thing or another.

  • Forests are water catchment areas
  • They feed us and provide medicine
  • They help to regulate temperature and help to make rain
  • They purify the air and produce the oxygen that we breath
  • They control noise pollution
  • Create jobs – tree farming and harvesting
  • They are a great sources of aesthetic beauty
  • Forests are home to countless species of animals

The existence of forest depends on the care of trees. Each and everyone of us has a responsibility to ensure the care and sustenance of forested areas. We can ensure the protection of our forests by

  • Planting tree seedling
  • Setting aside a tree planting day
  • Sensitizing people on the value of trees
  • Including children in tree planting sessions
  • Caring for existing trees
  • Having tree ambassadors at organizations
  • ease encourage everyone to plant,

The United Nations recommends 10 per cent of total land area to be covered by forests per country. At 7%, Kenya is a low forest cover country. This is however an increase from 5.3% in 2013. A report by the Ministry of Environment & Forestry attributed this to the rehabilitation of over 400,000 hectares of degraded public land, which is part of the government’s strategy to combat desertification.

Kenya’s forest cover comprises of the following:

Karura forest, Iveti forest, Kereita forest, Kakamega forest, Arabuko-Sokoke Forest, Kaya Kinondo Sacred Forest, Gatamaiyu Forest, and the Sacred Mijikenda Kaya Forests

Compiled by Grace C. Sitienei  - University of Nairobi Library