Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko has called for concerted efforts in tree planting by schools and other learning institutions
Speaking at Bondo Teachers Training College during the International Day of Forests Tobiko said recently launched Competency Based Curriculum provides gives a good opportunity for increasing exposure and networking of students with forestry activities.
“This will in turn create a generation that is conscious of the future benefits of trees and forests and the need for sustainable management,” he said.
The Cabinet Secretary called for the revival of 4K clubs and environmental clubs in all our schools which were once very active in conservation works
“We should seize this opportunity to increase visitation of children, pupils and students to forest areas, to inculcate the values of loving and appreciating forests and nature, establish woodlots and botanical gardens in all our schools.”he added.
The CS further said he was working with the Ministry of Education to ensure Environmental Education is mainstreamed into the school’s curriculum.
“My ministry is therefore following up a directive issued by the Government to all Ministries and State agencies to dedicate 10 percent of their CSR budget to tree growing,”said Tobiko
The day themed “Forests and Education” aims at sensitising members of the public on the importance of trees to human life.
Siaya County was chosen to host the national event because it has the lowest forest cover nationally at 0.45 per cent gazetted forests.
The gazetted forests are Got Ramogi which is 399.5 hectares and has been recognized as a national monument of cultural significance and Got Abiero which is 62.5 hectares.
The team visited exhibitions stands mounted by various environmental organisations showcasing their efforts to sustainably manage the environment.
Also present were Ministry of Environment and Forestry Chief Administrative Officer Mohamed Elmi,area Mp Naftali Ochanda,Siaya County Commissioner Michael Tialal, and NEMA Chairman John Konchella among others.
The International Day of Forests is in tandem with Sustainable Development Goal number 15 which advocates for sustainable maintenance of forests, combating of desertification and halting of biodiversity loss.
This goal is inseparably linked to the state of forests and can only be achieved if forests are preserved and tree growing is increased.