A reforestation initiative introduced in Kajiado County in Kenya will see AstraZeneca and Global EverGreening Alliance lead the efforts to restore degraded agricultural and forest lands through planting 120,000 trees.
The project, 70 kilometres south of the capital Nairobi aligns with AstraZeneca’s Global sustainability commitment to environmental protection. The health of our environment is intricately connected to human health, the project leaders say.
In a statemen announcing the initiative, the global pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca recognises the strong connection between a healthy planet and healthy people, and is committed to nurturing environments in which all life can thrive.
Trees are a nature-based answer for eliminating carbon dioxide and are fundamental to moderating the impacts of environmental change.
This week Kajiado County Governor Joseph ole Lenku, Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Environment Dr Chris K. Kiptoo, Kajiado West MP George Sunkuiya and Chairman of the Kenya Forest Service Peter Kinyua met with Senior Fellow at Global EverGreening Alliance (GEA) for Kenya Chapter Kenneth Namunje, AstraZeneca Country President for African Cluster Barbara Nel and AstraZeneca government affairs director SSA Kennedy Njau to plant the first of 120,000 trees in Kajiado County.
This initiative aligns with AstraZeneca’s global AZ Forest programme, announced at the World Economic Forum in January, which pledged to plant 50 million trees by 2025 in partnership with non-profit global partners One Tree Planted and Global EverGreening Alliance.
The initiative in Kajiado County will harness local knowledge and provide economic opportunities for small holder farmers and rural communities through contracted works such as seed collection, planting and long-term stewardship.
The project has engaged approximately 100 small holder farmers to establish nurseries in Kajiado County to nurture the seedings. This is in addition to up to 150 indigenous and non-indigenous business sub-contractors and local seed suppliers and nurseries.
AstraZeneca Country President for African Cluster Barbara Nel said, “The devastating impacts of drought and wildfires across the globe are a powerful reminder of the impact that the changing climate has on our planet. This is why we are doing our part to help with the reforestation of Kenya. Our AZ Forest programme in Kenya, in partnership the Global EverGreening Alliance and in collaboration with government is our commitment to support both a healthy environment and improve socioeconomic development and livelihoods for Kenyans in Kajiado County.”
Senior Fellow at Global EverGreening Alliance (GEA) for Kenya Chapter said, “Global EverGreening Alliance Kenya (GEA), an NGO domiciled in Australia, and our partners continue to impact livelihoods through restoration of farmlands, rangelands and forestlands. We take this opportunity to thank AstraZeneca for sponsoring planting of 120,000 Gliricidia Sepium trees in a three-year program in Kajiado County and we look forward to more collaboration in the future. The Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Environment and Forestry and Kenya Forest Service have supported the project. Zero Two Heros and Green Pasture Network will also collaborate with GEA as community-based implementation partners.”
- A Tell report