Equity Group has partnered with Kenya Forest Service (KFS) to implement an ambitious project of planting 35 million trees across the country within a year. The announcement was made on the Bank’s 35th Anniversary and comes on the backdrop of a brand refresh that saw the financial institution reveal a new identity.
Led by the Group CEO and Managing Director, Dr. James Mwangi, Equity kick-started the project by planting 3,500 indigenous tree seedlings in Miotoni Forest Block which is part of the Ngong Forest Complex.
Through the partnership, KFS will provide technical support including; the Identification of hotspots that require urgent tree cover and/or rehabilitation of degraded forests; mapping out agro-ecological zones and identification of suitable tree species for planting; identification of high-quality tree seedlings stocks across the country; and support by KFS officers and staff at local levels to supervise the proper planting and maintenance of the trees.
Speaking during the event, Equity Group CEO and Managing Director, Dr. James Mwangi said: “At Equity, we are very keen on promoting sustainable finance by concentrating on People and Planet as we conduct our business. In an effort to conserve the environment, Equity has partnered with Kenya Forest Service (KFS) to promote Farm Forestry Initiatives – this spirit of public-private partnerships (PPP) is from the fact that 77 % of deforestation and land degradation is caused by agriculture activities, hence the need to work closely with Forest and Farm Producers to encourage them to adopt sustainable solutions for preserving natural environments,” he said.
The initiative is also aligned to the Kenya’s Big Four Agenda on Food Security and Youth Employment. A majority of the trees planted will be fruit and medicinal trees of commercial value. The project will also empower youth who will be tasked with raising high-quality tree seedlings in nurseries as an income-generating activity.
Planting trees is one of the biggest and cheapest ways of taking CO2 out of the atmosphere to tackle the climate crisis. It is also fundamental to the survival of forest-dwellers, and are important providers of ecosystem services, including maintaining, restoring soil fertility, protecting watersheds and water courses.
“There is an opportunity for us as a Group to scale-up the footprint of our contribution in greening the environment, supporting transitions to clean energy and increasing fruit productivity. It is in this regard that we propose unlocking our infrastructure to leverage on ongoing and proposed government initiatives,” noted Dr Mwangi.