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MKU joins Kenya Forest Service to mark ‘World Day’ – KBC

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Mount Kenya University has partnered with the Kenya Forest Service to plant an estimated 3,000 trees this rainy season in an effort to expand the forest.

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MKU co-founder Simon Gicharu says the institute will continue to play a key role in climate change through environmental conservation by supporting the planting of thousands of trees each year in line with the Government of Kenya’s 2030 Vision and the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2030.

Gicharu who spoke during the Mount Kenya University Planting Plant under the theme “plant trees, love Kenya” said, “School of Clean Science and in collaboration with Nottingham Trent University (NTU) and other partners they received a grant of 850,000 Euro in 2020 (More than 110 million Kenyan Shillings) as a grant to rehabilitate the Brackenhurst forest, near Limuru in Kenya.

He said it would include the evaluation and protection of Brackenhurst forest indigenous medicinal plants and the decision on the medicinal plant material leading to their protection as well as documentation and protection of native plants for Brackenhurst forest treatment.

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Assistant Chief Conservator of Forestry James Mwang’ombe who was the guest of honor during the afforestation exercise said the challenges of climate change continue to threaten our environment and affect our biological diversity.

“Plants, especially trees, are important for the provision and control services. Essential herbal medicines, drugs and their equipment needed for the management of various human and animal conditions are provided for trees, shrubs and other plant species,” he said.

He commended MKU for establishing a botanical garden saying Kfs will continue to support and encourage private organizations like universities and individuals to promote private forests and other conservation systems.

The Vice Chancellor of the College Prof. Deogratius Jaganyi urged the Directorate of MKU Conferences along with all schools concerned to establish partnerships with the Kenya Forestry College and the Kenya Forest Service to obtain seedlings for distribution to Kenyans in the County through MKU Campuses in an effort to increase the Government’s target towards 10% of forests by 2030.

According to Pro-Chancellor Dr. Vincent Gaitho, the University Botanical Garden is essential for effective teaching and research in science programs such as Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Biochemistry, Biology, Ecology, Botany, Environmental Science, Bioinformatics and Agriculture.

Gaitho said the Botanical Garden enables students and researchers to study and research plants in their natural environment.

He said the next phase of development would establish the MKU botanical garden as a world-class botanical garden and a Quality Center in the conservation of native plants.

“In fact this is a timely project in line with Kenya’s Vision 2030 which aims to increase Kenya’s forest by more than 10% for environmental conservation, education, research and development needs,” he said.

The tree planting exercise coincided with World Day which is observed annually on April 22, with the theme of these years being “Restore Our World” which focuses on natural processes and emerging green technologies that can restore the environment.

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