The public holiday, announced last week, is part of a government initiative to plant 15bn trees by 2032 to tackle the climate crisis and deforestation amid worsening impacts such as a severe drought in the country and the wider Horn of Africa region. Government officials led tree-planting activities in different areas of the country and the environment minister urged the public to participate rather than use the holiday “to attend to other private and social obligations”. Seedlings were available to the public through local forest agencies and chiefs’ offices across the country. While the government’s tree-planting initiative has been widely welcomed, Ruto has faced some criticism for what environmental groups see as double-speak on conservation issues. He removed a six-year logging ban earlier this year, allowing old trees to be cut down for economic activity, saying that a number of old trees were wasting away. Environmental groups opposed the lifting of the ban, saying it would increase illegal logging.
SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN