NMG to champion environment cause

NMG board chairman Wilfred Kiboro

NMG board chairman Wilfred Kiboro (right), Green Blue Foundation Africa project manager Jackson Mwangi (centre) and Family Group Foundation executive director John Waimiri  during a tree planting exercise at Corner Baridi, Kajiado County, on June 5, 2022.

Photo credit: Dennis Onsongo | nation Media Group

The Nation Media Group will lead environmental conservation efforts to mitigate climate change and safeguard the livelihoods of communities across the country.

Speaking in Ngong Hills yesterday, where he participated in a 12-kilometre walk to celebrate World Environment Day, NMG board chairman Wilfred Kiboro encouraged Kenyans to pull together to restore the ecosystem.

“My greatest joy is seeing young men and women working to conserve the environment. The old generation has done a disservice to the environment by burning charcoal, logging and polluting rivers. When I was a young boy, rivers and springs were pristine. We had no bottled water, we drank directly from the river. Look at Nairobi River now,” he said.

Environmental conservation

NMG chief executive Stephen Gitagama said: “We need to grow trees as opposed to just planting them. When you plant a tree, you need to nurture it. We are starting a series of climate action stories from June 12, which will be in a pullout every Sunday. The stories will focus on climate action and smart agriculture, in preparation for COP 27,” he said.

Dr Kiboro, renowned journalist Bedan Mbugua and other friends started the Green Blue Foundation Africa (GBFA) with a focus on environmental conservation. Through the foundation, they run ‘The Forest Restoration Campaign’ to improve forest cover.

“As the climate warms and the human population continues to rise, forests will be central to human survival ... Forests serve as a natural safety net for livelihoods and protect us from severe effects of climate change,” said Dr Kiboro.

Cancer

“We have increased our forest cover to 8.83 per cent. We are aiming at 10 per cent, but why can’t we target more? Norway has over 50 per cent forest cover, why can’t we aim for the same? We need to preserve the environment for future generations,” he added.

Mr Mbugua, the GBFA President, said: “In Turkana, people are dying because of degradation of their land. There is no water and food. There are five million people who are always starving at any given point in Kenya. It’s like cancer.”

“The young generation is beginning to understand and take responsibility. They can plant as many trees as possible. In school, students can conduct healthy tree planting competitions to create change,” he added.

Dr Jane Njuguna, the Senior Deputy Director, Research and Development at Kenya Forestry Research Institute, used the slogan “Only One Earth” to remind Kenyans of the need to live sustainably and in harmony with nature.

“If we do not take care of the earth, it will vomit us out,” she said.

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