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Cultivating a sustainable culture and the path to a green future

 Governance, Risk, Controls and Audit expert Mikaeli Jesang. [Courtesy]

Kenya celebrated the National Tree Planting Day on November 13, 2023, strategically choosing the rainy season for optimal tree growth. This event showcased Kenyan patriotism in addressing the challenges posed by climate change.

A notable aspect of this initiative was the incorporation of technology, particularly the JazaMiti App, a directive from the president and a collaborative effort between the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change & Forest ICT (MoE, CC& ICT). The app, available on both IOS and Google Play Store, facilitates tracking of planted trees and ensures the selection of suitable tree species for specific planting sites.

While the event itself was vibrant and colorful, the key question arises: how can the momentum be sustained to realize long-term benefits? Coordination, consistency, a well-defined framework, monitoring, and sustainability are crucial factors for the success of nationwide tree-planting initiatives. However, the cultural aspect is equally pivotal.

The saying “culture eats strategy for breakfast” holds especially true for tree planting efforts. Establishing a tree-planting culture necessitates deliberate efforts to engage and educate individuals or communities about the significance of trees, making the process accessible and rewarding.

It is essential to launch campaigns to educate people about the benefits of trees, such as oxygen production, and biodiversity support. Breaking this down to the regular mwananchi language is critical. Further integration of tree planting into school curriculums, teaching students about the environment, ecology, and the role of trees.

Collaboration with local community groups, NGOs, and businesses further strengthens the initiative. Further creation of accessible Planting Opportunities through identification, creation and designation of areas in public spaces for tree planting, making it easy for individuals to contribute to greening their surroundings is vital.

The power of social media in this time and age cannot be ignored. Utilisation of social media and other online platforms to share success stories, information, and updates about tree planting initiatives.

By combining education, accessibility, incentives, and community engagement, a sustainable and enduring tree-planting culture can be cultivated within the Kenyan ecosystem, contributing significantly to environmental conservation efforts. 

-The author is an expert in matters Governance, Risk, Controls and Audit

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