As ITF is almost 100 years old, it’s fitting their Centenary Campaign takes them back to where it all began, in Kenya. Only seven per cent of Kenya’s land is covered by trees – which equates to 67 trees per person, compared with a global average of 420 per person. The aim of the campaign is to plant a total of 20 million trees in and around Kenya’s highland forests, dubbed “Water Towers” because of their vital role in conserving the country’s rivers, lakes and drinking water.
The initiative will help combat climate change, protect forest habitats for rare birds and mammals – while improving food security for some of Africa’s most vulnerable people: Around a quarter of the trees cultivated will be planted on surrounding farmland – to provide food and resources, stabilise soils and increase crop yields. Trees are essential in retaining and protecting water reserves, so the Water Towers being targeted are the Aberdares, Mount Elgon, the Cherangani Hills, and the Mau Complex – as well as Kakamega Forest, Kenya’s only rainforest.