The Kenyan leader said his administration has identified forestry as a key sector of investment in the realization of the country’s development agenda and is implementing the national green growth strategy that has set clear restoration targets aimed at achieving the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“Today we are here to show commitment and on behalf of our government and our people, I am pledging that by 2022, we want to reach a minimum of 10 percent forest cover in our country as a way of also ensuring that we play our part both as a government and as members of the global community,” Kenyatta said.
Kenyatta called for concerted efforts towards environmental conservation, saying forests like the oceans are the lungs that keep the planet alive.
“Investment in sustainable management in the conservation of our forests is one of the most effective interventions to combat climate change in Kenya,” he added.
Kenyatta was speaking at UNEP headquarters in Nairobi when he and French President Emmanuel Macron officially opened the One Planet Summit, also attended by local and international leaders.
President Macron commended Kenyatta’s commitment to environmental conservation and praised Kenya for hosting the One Planet Summit.
The French leader said the Nairobi summit was special because it proved that it was not only the Western world that was concerned about climate change and environmental conservation but also Africa.
“Africa is key in this project because it bears the first direct impact of climate change,” Macron said.
Kenyatta said the One Planet Summit which builds on two previous summits held in Paris and New York signals a strengthening of cooperation in scaling up environmental conservation and climate action.