CS Tuya: Tree planting, weapon to fight climate security

Environment CS Soipan Tuya and Defense CS Aden Duale on a tree planting exercise on May 29.[Photo,Courtesy]

Environment, Climate Change and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Soipan Tuya has said that tree planting is the best solution to climate security.

Speaking in Nairobi on May 29, the CS accompanied by Defense CS Aden Duale and other security officials said tree growing is an effective antidote to the worsening climate crisis.

CS Tuya noted that the security officials had acknowledged climate change as an escalator of insecurity especially among communities occupying vulnerable ecosystems and degraded landscapes.

"As you have seen with our colleague CS Kindiki of Interior, climate change is topping insecurity problems in our country. So, it is an existential problem which commands us to have and to strengthen the whole-of-Government approach," said Tuya.

She emphasised that; "Trees are our greatest allies in the fight against the climate crisis which is the greatest existential threat of our time”.

 The government has an annual target of propagating 80 million seedlings and planting 50 million trees to raise the tree cover to 30 per cent in ten years.

CS Tuya urged the military to strengthen their engagement in the flagship climate action programme that seeks to plant 15 billion trees.

CS Tuya explained that the new approach where each cabinet secretary had been assigned specific degraded ecosystems for full restoration was meant to shift the country from traditional tree planting to nurturing trees to maturity.

"We have targets for every ministry, department, and agency of government. We have shifted from simply planting trees to growing them to maturity.That's why, as a cabinet directive, we have a cabinet secretary, with all their departments and agencies, out there in the field making sure that we're keeping up with our targets," she said. 

On his part, CS Duale acknowledged that climate change was an insecurity multiplier and assured that his ministry was determined to achieve its seedling propagation and tree-growing targets ahead of schedule.

He said the Kenya Defense Forces had established a dedicated ecosystem restoration unit charged with driving forward the tree-growing initiative that had, among other achievements, overseen the growth of 12 million since the launch of the initiative in December 2022.