2023-11-18 KENYA

Tree Planting ‘Special Holiday’ in Kenya

On Monday, November 13, 2023, the Kenyans nationwide observed a “special holiday” to plant trees to support their country’s land restoration efforts. Their target is to nurture a sustainable and greener future while addressing pressing environmental challenges. By this initiative, they hope to contribute to climate change mitigation efforts, promote sustainable development, conserve the environment and biodiversity, and encourage community participation and awareness.

The ‘special holiday’ tree planting initiative in Kenya is a powerful and simple way of saying that trees are important. Of course, trees, as we know, play a crucial role of purifying the air, providing habitats and food sources for numerous species of birds, insects, and other wildlife, improving air quality as well as easing the urban heat island effect. They equally restore ecosystems and promote biodiversity conservation, prevent soil erosion by anchoring the soil with their roots, absorbing excess rainwater, reducing runoff, and contributing to nutrient cycling and soil fertility. Also, trees around buildings and urban areas also provide shade, reduce the need for air conditioning and thus conserving energy. Trees help regulate and improve water cycles and quality by absorbing and storing water in their roots and decreasing the risk of floods by filtering pollutants and reducing sedimentation in water bodies. Moreover, they enhance the visual appeal of landscapes, promote psychological well-being, create a sense of tranquility, and reduce noise pollution by acting as sound barriers. To say the least, trees provide timber and other wood products to contribute to our overall economic and social well-being.

By declaring a ‘special holiday’ to plant trees, the Kenya government sets an example for other countries emphasizing the need for collective action, government involvement, and environmental stewardship to address and lessen the challenges posed by climate change and environmental degradation. This initiative highlights environmental consciousness and the significance of taking care of our Planet (our Common Home).  It equally demonstrates the role of the government in spearheading environmental initiatives and taking responsibility for the well-being of the country’s natural resources. Hence, such an initiative provides an opportunity for individuals, communities, and organizations to actively participate in tree planting thus fostering a sense of collective responsibility and encouraging citizen engagement in environmental initiatives.

Moreover, it also serves to educate and raise awareness about the benefits of trees, and their contribution to sustainable development besides encouraging communities to come together to reinforce social cohesion and provide an opportunity for shared experiences and a sense of pride in making a positive impact on the environment. November 13, 2023, tree planting campaign in Kenya is a concrete response to Pope Francis’ call in “Laudato Si'” exhorting everyone including communities and governments to take actions to address environmental concerns by caring for the Earth, our Common Home. This initiative showcases a proactive approach to environmental conservation sustainable practices, community engagement, and climate change mitigation. Specifically, it encourages other initiatives such as environmental, energy, water and wildlife conservations, clean-up campaigns, use of renewable energy sources, protection of natural habitats, advocacy and environmental education, and sustainable transportation.

Brother Francis Lukong
November 13, 2023
Nairobi, Kenya


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