BY MARY KUYE
A collaboration between AstraZeneca and Global EverGreening Alliance to restore degraded agricultural and forest lands through planting 120 000 trees; the reforestation initiative will be introduced in Kajiado County; the initiative aligns with AstraZeneca’s Global sustainability commitment to environmental protection.
The health of our environment is intricately connected to human health.
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 CO2 and are fundamental to moderating the impacts of environmental change.
This week the Governor of Kajiado County HE Joseph Ole Lenku; The Principal Secretary at the Ministry of Environment Dr. Chris K. Kiptoo; MP for Kajiado West Hon George Sunkuiya; and the Chairman of the Kenya Forest Service Mr Peter Kinyua, met with Senior Fellow at Global EverGreening Alliance (GEA) – Kenya Chapter, Dr Kenneth Namunje, AstraZeneca’s Country President for African Cluster (South Africa, Sub Saharan Africa and French Speaking Africa), Barbara Nel, and AstraZeneca Government Affairs Director SSA, Dr Kennedy Njau to plant the first of 120 000 trees in Kenya’s 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; up to 150 Indigenous and Non-Indigenous business sub-contractors; local seed suppliers and nurseries.
Barbara Nel, AstraZeneca Country President for African Cluster 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.”
Dr Kenneth Namunje, Senior Fellow at Global EverGreening Alliance (GEA) – Kenya Chapter: “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 3-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.”