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Launch of Tree Initiative at PUEA
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Launch of the Tree Planting Initiative

LAUNCH OF TREE PLANTING INITIATIVE  BY THE CHANCELLOR, RT. REV. JULIUS MWAMBA HELD ON THURSDAY, 29TH MARCH 2018 AT THE PRESBYTERIAN UNIVERSITY OF EAST AFRICA

Deforestation is one of the great challenges of our times. Scientists estimate about half of all the forests that once covered the Earth are gone. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) tells us that 13 million hectares of forest are destroyed around the globe every year. At that rate, a forest the size of Kenya would be cut in less than six years.  

It is observed that Kenya faces one of the greatest rates of deforestation in Africa. In 1963, Kenya had forest cover of some 12 percent of the land. It has since been reduced to 1.2 percent.

The launch of Tree Planting Initiative by the Chancellor today, should remind us of the importance of forests in our lives. Trees are amazing and provide many benefits:

  1. Trees Improve the Environment

Planting a tree is one of the easiest ways to improve the environment and beautify your surroundings.  Plants filter pollutants, absorb carbon dioxide, release oxygen and help fight soil erosion.

  1. Trees Reduce Energy Costs

Trees provide shade from the hot summer sun to help keep your home cooler. When located properly, trees can help cut energy costs all year.  A healthy tree cools the air in spring and summer.  During the winter, they can block harsh blowing winds and provide insulation.

  1. Trees are Home to Wildlife

Trees provide homes for wildlife, giving birds and squirrels places to rest, nest and escape predators.   Plant a few trees to help attract wildlife to your yard.  Many also offer valuable food sources, such as pollen, nectar, fruits and nuts.

  1. Trees are Nature’s Beauty

Trees are beautiful.  From colorful flowers in the spring, to beautiful green leaves in the summer and provide an ever-changing landscape.

Trees can help define a space, create a little privacy and offer a shady retreat.

Forests are so important to Kenya’s environment, economy, and particularly to the water supplies that sustain life. As you know, Kenyan forests are largely divided between five highland water towers which store rain during the wet seasons and release it during the dry season. The rivers that flow from these forests are drying up. This, in turn, is affecting crops, livestock, hydroelectric production and even tourism as wildlife movement change in response to water availability.

Therefore, launching this Tree Planting Initiative by the Chancellor, in PUEA , holds special significance. This is a great demonstration to the spirit and vision of the late Professor Wangari Maathai, who we will all miss greatly for her love to the environment.

The trees we plant today will continue to grow and provide shade and oxygen and are reminders of our dependency upon and the benefits derived from a healthy natural environment.

May the trees we plant today serve as a reminder of the Chancellor’s commitment to a sustainable future for our country and the entire region and inspire action from the community to protect the environment.

 

 

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