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Plating trees today can help preserve Kenya's forests and biodiversity for future generations to enjoy



What is happening?

The impact of human driven carbon footprint in Kenya and the broader East Africa region is well documented, recorded and observed by governments and environmental groups alike. 1) http://www.wrma.or.ke/index.php/wrma-regional-offices/rift-valley.html

Kenya is facing rampart forest degradation across the country over the years. The government has taken significant steps to curb illegal logging 2) UNEP - http://www.unep.org/newscentre/default.aspx?DocumentID=2791&ArticleID=10913 which contributes to deforestation. However, the pressure on exploiting the existing resources provided by the forests is significantly high in a country where only 6% of land is forested. 3) Illegal Logging - http://www.illegal-logging.info/regions/kenya The loss of forest cover is induced by several socio-economic and natural factors including, but not limited to, crime, settlement expansion and climate change.

Some of the major reasons for rural deforestation by burning in Kenya is for charcoal production, firewood, cultivation of land for pasture or farming and settlement expansion. 4) Underlying Causes of Deforestation and Forest Degradation: Kenya (2011) - Lynette Obare and J. B. Wangwe Furthermore, to a lesser extent but still significant, is the culling of certain type of trees for their proven medicinal value in combating malaria and as a treatment for worms in rural communities that lack access to formal healthcare institutions. 5) Illegal Logging - http://www.illegal-logging.info/content/wanton-deforestation-threatens-anti-malaria-tree-species-kenya

Climate change is also contributing to exacerbate the situation. The region is expected to continue facing rising temperatures that is linked to below average annual precipitation year-on-year reflected in the data observed over the past two decades. 6) USGS - http://www.usgs.gov/newsroom/article.asp?ID=2690&from=rss_home#.U8Y-DvmSzwo The subsequent droughts that naturally follow are already impacting the lives of millions directly and indirectly in Kenya and in the broader East Africa region. 7) The Guardian - http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2014/mar/26/kenya-drought-triggers-fears-humanitarian-crisis Mass-migration of people from drought stricken areas seeking better living conditions only serves to add further pressure on the existing forests for resources they provide in Kenya (as stated above) and the broader region as a whole. Too often, cash strapped governments are forced to make short-term, politically favorable re-settlement options and industrial development to keep unemployment and community discontent low without considering long term environmental consequences.

How can you help?

For a developing country like Kenya, carbon capture projects that some of the more advanced economies can undertake are technologically and financially not feasible.

The simplest near-term solution to Kenya’s carbon footprint reduction is tree planting!

There is a practical reason for planting more trees and they are usually the cornerstone of countless environmental movements for a reason. Tress, put simply, reduce our carbon footprint and decrease the impact of global warming by absorbing CO2 from the atmosphere. Global warming is the process by which carbon dioxide, methane, and other gases released into the air are forming a barrier that prevents the sun’s energy from radiating back into space, thus raising the earth’s temperature.

Our program's objective

Our objective is to plant, manage and maintain as many trees as possible to help Kenya offset some of the negative impacts of climate change.

We understand that the price of $50 per tree seems too steep to some, especially when you consider other programs that charge a lot less to plant a tree. However, what people do not realize is that cheaper tree-planting operations are not accountable for what happens to the trees once the seeds are planted. Majority of them are left to the mercy of the elements and are often victims to the very forces they are supposed to counter (illegal logging or climate change).

Natura Limited offers each participant a stake in the tree they plant. Think of it as a shareholder system. The price reflects the costs associated with planting a tree (transport, labor, permits etc), watering it and then maintaining it from human and natural causes that can damage or destroy the tree for the entirety of the tree’s lifetime.

Once the tree is planted, you can (should you wish) get the location and updates on the tree you helped grow. This way, you can see how, on what, and where your money was spent!

References

1.
  http://www.wrma.or.ke/index.php/wrma-regional-offices/rift-valley.html
2.
  UNEP - http://www.unep.org/newscentre/default.aspx?DocumentID=2791&ArticleID=10913
3.
  Illegal Logging - http://www.illegal-logging.info/regions/kenya
4.
  Underlying Causes of Deforestation and Forest Degradation: Kenya (2011) - Lynette Obare and J. B. Wangwe
5.
  Illegal Logging - http://www.illegal-logging.info/content/wanton-deforestation-threatens-anti-malaria-tree-species-kenya
6.
  USGS - http://www.usgs.gov/newsroom/article.asp?ID=2690&from=rss_home#.U8Y-DvmSzwo
7.
  The Guardian - http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2014/mar/26/kenya-drought-triggers-fears-humanitarian-crisis