Kenya: Jambojet joins efforts to plant 15 billion trees

Volunteers from JamboJet Kenya planting trees in the launch of a partnership between JamboJet and Big Ship CBO. PHOTO/JamboJet.
Volunteers from JamboJet Kenya planting trees in the launch of a partnership between JamboJet and Big Ship CBO. PHOTO/JamboJet.
  • Government’s target is to plant 15 billion trees.
  • Different initiatives, companies and individuals are joining the efforts.
  • Millions of hectares of degraded land set to be restored.

Kenya has continually borne the brunt of climate change due to its vulnerability to climate shocks.

The recently witnessed below-average rainfall for a third consecutive season led to a loss of ground cover and the death of livestock. It even led to some counties being named Arid and Semi-Arid Land (ASAL).

It has also awakened the country to tighten its efforts to fight climate change.

On the 11th celebration of International Forest Day in Kenya, the Ministry of Environment, climate change and forestry disbursed 60 million tree seedlings to be planted in this rainy season.

More efforts have been witnessed from the state, non-governmental organizations and individual citizens.

International Forest Day 2023

International Forest Day (IFD) is celebrated every March 21 worldwide. 

The theme of this year’s celebrations was dubbed Forests and Health, which stresses the importance of forests and the forestry sector for human and environmental health.

IFD is dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of forests and trees for the well-being of people and the planet, as Ephantus Kimotho, the Permanent Secretary, State Department of Forestry in the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Forestry, says.

“Forests are among the major contributors to our Economic Development and that is the reason why we have set aside a day to remind people to take care of this valuable resource,” Kimotho stated.

Call for IFD 2023 celebrations in Kenya

Inarguably, Kenya has a diverse array of forests, ranging from highland forests to coastal forests, and they play a crucial role in the country’s economy and environment. 

They provide valuable ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration, soil conservation, water regulation, supporting biodiversity and providing livelihoods for millions of people.

E-poster of Kenya Forest Service (KFS) concerning the  International Forest Day, under theme 'Forests and Health' E-POSTER/Courtesy.
E-poster of Kenya Forest Service (KFS) concerning International Forest Day, under the theme ‘Forests and Health’. E-POSTER/Courtesy.

To celebrate International Forest Day 2023 in Kenya, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and other stakeholders organize various activities and events. 

These may include tree-planting campaigns, educational seminars, community outreach programs, and conservation efforts.

It’s also an opportunity to raise awareness about the ongoing threats to forests in Kenya, such as deforestation, illegal logging, and unsustainable land use practices, and to advocate for their protection and restoration.


The celebration of IFD in Kenya also provides an opportunity to reflect on the progress made in forest conservation and identify areas where more effort is needed. 

It will also be a time to appreciate the beauty and significance of Kenya’s forests, which provide critical habitats for wildlife and support the livelihoods of millions of people.

Overall, IFD 2023 in Kenya gave a chance to celebrate forests’ beauty and diversity and recognize their critical importance.

State efforts to combat climate change

As we approach the rainy season, the Ministry of Environment aims to plant approximately 60 million trees, especially in North Eastern Kenya.

Moreover, in an agreement with the national government, the State-owned corporation, Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI), guaranteed to produce 1000 tonnes of tree seedlings between 2022 and 2032 to fulfil the president’s directive of reaching the 15 billion tree planting target by the said year.

Trees for pardon

Elsewhere in Marmanet Forest in Nyahururu, Laikipia County, the State Department for Correctional Services launched a 10 million tree planting campaign where petty offenders will be engaged in tree planting exercises under Community Service Orders (CSO) in a bid to decongest prisons.

Speaking during the launch, PS Mary Muthoni said the state department is collaborating with the judiciary to ensure cases of inmates who have been imprisoned three years and below with petty offences are reviewed.

PS Mary Muthoni, State Department for Correctional Services launch a 10 million tree planting campaign in Nyahururu, Laikipia County. PHOTO/Courtesy.
PS Mary Muthoni, State Department for Correctional Services (center), and other members launch a 10 million tree planting campaign in Nyahururu, Laikipia County. PHOTO/Courtesy.

“Through this initiative, we will be able to decongest the prisons. Our prisons are overcrowded with petty offenders who will be useful once they are released for community service. This exercise could not have come at a better time than when the country is trying to reach the 15 billion tree planting target,” noted the PS.

On IDF 2023, 166 petty offenders were released through Community Service Orders, and they were part of the tree planting, which saw 100,000 trees planted in the event.


In Turkana County, the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) distributed 1,000 seedlings to communities in the region.

The exercise was undertaken in collaboration with the Turkana County government led by the County Forest Conservator Richard Guya.

According to KFS, 200 seedlings were planted at Nadoto Primary School, 200 at Nangitony Primary School and 200 at Nangolekerup Primary School.

The exercise also saw 50 seedlings planted at the Nadoto Farmers Society office and 50 at the Nadoto health centre.

Restoring mangroves

At the Coast region of the country, JamboJet partnered with Big Ship CBO in their sustainability program to restore the degraded mangrove forest.

The two groups marked the beginning of the partnership on March 17 this year, just a few days ahead of the International Day of Forest.

Speaking to the media during the tree planting exercise, JamboJet Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Karanja Ndegwa said the partnership was an extension of the existing relations between the airline, Eldoret Water and Sanitation Company and the Kenya Forest Service.

“So far, we have planted over 100,000 trees in the country and mostly in the North Rift and Nairobi counties in collaboration with our partners in this program,” Ndegwa told the media during the tree planting exercise.

JamboJet Kenya CEO, Karanja Ndegwa, partners with Big Ship CBO to conserve Kenya's Mangrove along the coast. PHOTO/Courtesy.
JamboJet Kenya CEO Karanja Ndegwa giving his remarks concerning the partnership. PHOTO/Courtesy.

Ndegwa additionally stated that the main aim of the collaboration with Big Ship CBO is to promote sustainable preservation of the mangrove ecosystem for the well-being of the adjacent forest communities and climate change resilience.

Over 3000 seedlings were planted in one-hectare land along Tudor Creek in Mombasa.

The Kenyan Coast is facing about 80 percent of the mangrove cover loss due to climate change and human factors.

Conserving mangroves for sustainable development

Biodiversity is our planet’s wealth, and loss of it could threaten many hard-won development gains.

Only with healthy ecosystems can we enhance people’s livelihoods, stop the collapse of biodiversity and counteract climate change.

The mangrove was declared a government reserve forest in 1932, and the responsibility to manage this reserve was bestowed on the Kenya Forest Service and the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS).

The ecosystem responds to the attainment of a number of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), thus the need for its conservation.

Main challenge

However, the main challenge has been sectoral governance which does not recognize the interconnectedness of ecosystems in resource management.

To break the barriers, the Kenyan government prepared a forest management plan in 2017 and termed it The National Mangrove Ecosystem Management Plan (2017-2027).

The plan identifies management programs implemented through various stakeholders such as the government, civil societies and the coastal region’s communities.

Mangrove Forests along the Coast of Kenya. The Mangrove vegetation covers 5 counties' coastlines in the Kenyan Coast. PHOTO/Courtesy.
Mangrove Forests along Kenyan coast. They cover five counties’ coastlines in Kenya. PHOTO/Courtesy.

Additionally, issues of conservation, rehabilitation and sustainable utilization of mangrove resources have been addressed in Kenya’s development blueprint Vision 203, which aims at increasing forest cover and promoting a clean and healthy environment.

In Kenya, the mangrove straddles a total of 5 counties in the coastal region which is an estimated size of over 60,000 hectares of land.

Ocean and biodiversity

Away from Kenya, the ocean has been identified worldwide as an important source of biodiversity as it plays a vital role in the water cycle and the climate system.

The UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030) recognizes the marine realm as the largest component in the earth’s system. It is a rallying call to support efforts to reverse the cycle of decline in ocean health.

The program calls for the protection and revival of ecosystems for the benefit of people and nature by halting the degradation of ecosystems.

YOU CAN ALSO READ: Training and grants, a boost to youths combating climate change

Its vision is The science we need for the ocean we want, a clarion call for protecting and reviving oceanic ecosystems for the benefit of people and nature.

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Ms. Njoroge holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communication and Journalism from Moi University. She is a Digital Human-Interest Writer, particularly in the realms of Gender, Book Reviews, Environment and Climate Change. Email:


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