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“The African continent has the largest landscape restoration opportunity of any in the world – but each country has to lead the way and drive action on the ground. Today, Kenya announced a significant commitment to restore 5.1 million hectares of land, nearly 9 percent of its total landmass. The amount of land Kenya committed today represents an area roughly the size of Costa Rica.

Through global initiatives like the Bonn Challenge and regional initiatives like the African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative (AFR100), Kenya is now the 13th African country to commit to bringing over 46 million hectares of land into restoration by 2030.

Kenya’s national restoration commitment was announced by Cabinet Secretary Judi Wangalwa Wakhungu, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, and at an event in Nairobi co-hosted by Kenya’s Forest Service.

Kenya’s commitment was determined through the analysis of national restoration opportunity maps created by the Kenyan Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources and the Kenya Forest Service (KFS), with technical support from World Resources Institute (WRI), Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Greenbelt Movement.

Kenya is the first African country to complete a national restoration opportunity assessment that informed their commitment to the Bonn Challenge and AFR100. This assessment maps all landscape restoration opportunities for Kenya, with maps detailing the best areas for different types of restoration to better enable on the ground efforts at scale.

The Kenyan Government and partners identified the most pressing land use challenges currently affecting Kenya, as well as a list of restoration options that could help address these challenges and restore the ecosystem services that are currently lacking. The various landscape restoration options identified include:

  • Reforestation and rehabilitation of degraded natural forests
  • Agroforestry and woodlots on cropland
  • Commercial tree and bamboo plantations
  • Tree-based buffers along waterways, wetlands and roads
  • Silvo-pastoral and rangeland restoration

These restoration options can potentially help restore ecosystem services associated with trees, such as erosion control, regulation of water flows and soil quality, as well as forest habitat for wildlife…”

Read on at: Climate Action Programme.