Nairobi – Kenya will attempt to break the world record in tree planting in November by planting five million trees in one hour.
Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Natural Resources, Judi Wakhungu, made this known during the launch of the world Guinness tree challenge in Nairobi on Wednesday.
According to him, the initiative will contribute immensely in growing trees in degraded ecosystems and restore water catchments and river basins.
She said, “Kenya’s current forest cover of two percent falls below the global convention of 10 percent, and with increasing poverty, demand for arable land and rapid population growth, the situation is deemed to get worse.
“The project will also increase the capacity to adapt to the impact of climate change combat desertification, guarantee water, food security and livelihoods by conserving water catchments,” she remarked.
The current world record of 2.29 million trees planted in one hour is held by TreeVolution, an NGO in Philippines, which used 122,168 participants in September 2014.
Wakhungu said the tree planting marathon, in which her ministry has partnered with the Kenya Red Cross under the Sustainable Environment Restoration Program (SERP), is aimed at bringing Kenyans from all walks of life to participate in the exercise and build a sense of ownership for their environment.
As part of planting 2.5 billion trees by 2020, an online application called Adopt-A-Tree App was also launched during the ceremony.
It will be powered by Global Positioning System (GPS) and social technologies to enable people to plant trees online from anywhere in the world, with an option to select designated locations in Kenya, upon payment of 3.5 U.S. dollars per tree.
The GPS technology will help planters to stay connected with their trees. It will monitor trees planted as well as record those that have grown successfully to maturity.
The Secretary General of the Kenya Red Cross Society (KSRC), Abbas Gullet, said the organization will use its assemblage of over 70,000 volunteers to carry out environmental management interventions to mitigate climate change.