In the 1960s, forests made up double-digit percentages of land in Kenya. Now, that number is only 6.6% as forests continue to suffer severe deforestation.
Providing the foundation for water collection in the African country, trees are absolutely critical to the local populations of animal and plant life—humans as well. These forests protect countless species and provide a habitat for ecological diversity to flourish. Furthermore, they serve as carbon “sinks” to absorb harmful climate-changing carbon from the environment. It is estimated that an enormous 20% of worldwide emissions may be due to deforestation.
Even more saddening, 20% of tree cover loss results in permanent deforestation. Like many other deforested areas, there is a very strong correlational relationship with poverty. As local peoples have nowhere to turn, they begin cutting down trees irresponsibly just to survive.
The way to combat this is through proper education. By teaching local you and farmers how to properly care for native species of trees, they can then not only provide subsistence for themselves but also learn how to care for the environment instead of stripping it of its beauty.
By providing farmers with tree planting jobs we can make a powerful impact against poverty—but that is only the first step. As trees begin to make their way into the ground, Kenya’s habitat will start to flourish again.
Why is this so important?
Because Kenya is a goldmine of diverse species of plant and animal life.
- 1,847 species of mammals, birds, amphibians, and reptiles: 3.8% are threatened
- 6,506 species of plants: 4.1% don’t exist anywhere on the planet
The message is clear: if nothing is done to help reverse the deforestation going on in Kenya, species will continue to die and more Earth will suffer—possibly permanently. And the more time that passes, the worse the situation gets.
By standing strong to begin making a change today—not tomorrow—we can put an end to habitat destruction in one of Earth’s most diverse and unique ecosystems.
8 Billion Trees Kenya Youth Initiative
The climate crisis can only be won by educating the youth of today on nurturing a greener tomorrow. A core component of our Kenya planting projects are centered around grassroots efforts to educate local communities, while empowering them to take real action.
So far, schoolchildren of Kenya have helped to plant over 6,000 trees, while taking what they’ve learned and using it to plant even more trees throughout their local community.
Empowering Maasai Women
In addition to the community efforts above, 8 Billion Trees has launched a new program to empower the women of the Maasai, providing their families with income generated by eco activities like tree planting. So far, the project has planted over 1,200 trees.
Sharing their hand-crafted artisan products with supporters around the globe, 100% of proceeds from products go towards funding the Maasai women and their communities.
2021 Kenya Project Update
While Kenya currently makes up a small percentage of our overall carbon offsets program, we are devoted to expanding our initiatives there to continue making an impact in one of the planet’s core biospheres.
Our most recent work involves partnering with Green Schools Alliance Initiative in Kenya, lead by Director Sammy Mutua. In a recent interview, Sammy explained that lack of awareness about the importance of trees has helped foster their destruction in Kenya. Since most trees are cut down to provide cooking fuel, he believes the way to restore and rebuild the forests that have been destroyed is to conduct awareness campaigns throughout the communities about the benefits of trees. That’s why he’s spearheading a push to provide students with two trees to plant and care for within the school facilities.
By overseeing which planting locations are chosen, Sammy works to negotiate with land-owners and various government councils to manage the newly reclaimed areas. Together, we’ve planted at least 6,554 new trees! And, his most recent efforts involved planting over 1,500 new trees that the team dubbed “COVID trees.”
Sammy’s passion for spreading knowledge about the importance of trees and vegetation in the country mirrors 8 Billion Trees’ desire to blanket ‘hot spots’ across the globe with restored rainforests and thriving ‘carbon sinks’ (areas that store and absorb CO2 from the atmosphere). And, thanks to people like Sammy, the trees that will help rebuild the environment are being planted right now!
Learn more about our company’s efforts to reforest devastated “hot spots” around the world on our FAQ page.