Long-distance world record holder Eliud Kipchoge to work closely with the Global Peace Foundation and the Chandaria Foundation to support forest coverage in Kenya.
For more than a decade Global Peace Foundation (GPF) Kenya has supported efforts to counter deforestation and to address one of the key goals of Kenya’s Vision 2030: to beautify the environment and provide at least 10 percent tree coverage throughout Kenya.
Deforestation in Kenya, a decades-long process, has become more critical in recent years due to logging, industrialization, improper land use, and agricultural expansion, leaving the East African nation with just 6 percent forest cover. Deforestation not only deprives wildlife of natural habitat and threatens native flora, but also imperils the retention of rainwater, the fertility of the soil, and the regulation of climate conditions.
In 2011 GPF Kenya, the Nairobi Central Business Division (CBD) and other civic partners commemorated United Nations World Environment Day by mobilizing supporters for a “CBD Tree Planting Day: Nature at Your Service—Plant a Tree for Better Tomorrow.”
In 2013, more than 1,000 trees were planted by volunteers, with a commitment from EABL Foundation to sponsor the planting of 40,000 trees in Kijabe area. Volunteers organized by the African Peace Service Corps and the Global Peace Foundation Kenya, in partnership with the Kenya Forest Service and the United Nations Environment Programme, commemorated 2014 Mandela Day by planting 670 indigenous trees, symbolic of the 67 years Mandela committed to serve humanity.
More recently, GPF-Kenya partnered to launch the Grow a Classroom Program for primary and secondary schools to support the planting of 2,000 tree seedlings in the counties of Nairobi, Machakos, Kiambu, and Kajiado. This project is integrated with GPF’s Character and Creativity Initiative, which builds education networks among teachers, students, parents, community organizations and businesses to support youth to be productive and engaged citizens.
In 2021, the Global Peace Foundation Kenya and Global Peace and Development Service Alliance in collaboration with Chandaria Foundation took a bold step to answer the challenge of deforestation through its Adopt a Tree Initiative, a one-million-tree growing campaign across the 47 counties in Kenya. The program seeks to support the 10 percent national forest cover target of Vision 2030, which has a goal of planting of 1.8 billion trees by the year 2022.
GPF Kenya and the Methodist Church Kilifi branch, in partnership with the Chandaria Foundation, and MRM SAFAL Foundation launched the Chandaria Forest by planting 15,000 trees. The Chandaria Forest Drive seeks to plant and maintain more than 100,000 trees in the 50 hectares parcel of land dedicated courtesy of the Methodist Church in Kilifi County.
In a meeting of key organizers in May 2022, long-distance runner world record holder Eliud Kipchoge agreed to work closely with the Global Peace Foundation and the Chandaria Foundation to advance efforts to increase forest cover by establishing tree nurseries throughout the country. The partnership hopes to increase tree cover to 11 percent by growing trees in all the forty-seven counties in Kenya, with a target 1 million trees every year.
Last year, the Global Peace Foundation Kenya and its partners planted over fifty thousand trees across the country and are inviting businesses to adopt their nurseries and engage other schools on environmental sustainability.
Eliud Kipchoge became the first runner in history to complete a sub-two-hour marathon in Vienna, Austria, when he ran the 42.195 kilometer race in a record time of 1:59:40:2.
To lern more about GPF Kenya's environmental, education, and peacebuilding initiatives, visit Kenya | Global Peace Foundation.