Greening Kenya to address environmental sustainability and climate change

Greening Kenya to address environmental sustainability and climate change

Sustainable Environment and Restoration Programme (SERP) in Kenya

The Government of Kenya, in collaboration with the Kenya Red Cross Society and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), has launched the Sustainable Environment and Restoration Programme (SERP). This initiative aims to enhance environmental and climate change management in the country.

Context and Challenges

Climate change is a significant global issue, disproportionately affecting vulnerable populations in developing countries. In Kenya, climate change impacts key sectors like agriculture and tourism, which are vital to the economy and livelihoods of the majority of the population. Declining forest cover has further exacerbated issues with water towers and wildlife diversity.

Key Statements and Objectives

  • Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Program, highlighted the critical role of forest cover for the Kenyan economy and emphasized SERP as a transformative conservation effort.
  • Professor Judi Wakhungu, Cabinet Secretary of the Ministry of Environment, Water and Natural Resources, outlined the program’s focus on tree planting, biodiversity conservation, water catchment protection, and soil conservation.

Vision 2030 and Environmental Management

As part of Kenya’s Vision 2030 development strategy, the government is committed to several environmental management initiatives:

  1. Increasing Forest Cover: SERP aims to achieve a 10 percent forest cover threshold to combat deforestation.
  2. Protecting and Restoring River Basins and Water Towers: Efforts include conserving biodiversity and protecting crucial water sources.
  3. Solid Waste Management: Initiatives to manage waste effectively, reducing environmental impact.

Program Components and Expected Outcomes

  • Tree Planting: The program will involve extensive planting of trees, bamboo, and shrubs to restore ecosystems.
  • Biodiversity Conservation: Protecting various species and maintaining ecological balance.
  • Water Catchment Protection: Ensuring the sustainability of water sources critical for both human and wildlife needs.
  • Soil Conservation: Implementing measures to prevent soil erosion and degradation.
  • Wealth Creation: Utilizing environmental conservation as a means to create economic opportunities.
  • Global Climate Fight Contribution: Aligning local efforts with global climate change mitigation strategies.


The SERP initiative represents a significant step forward in Kenya’s environmental conservation and climate change mitigation efforts. By enhancing forest cover, protecting vital ecosystems, and promoting sustainable practices, the program aims to safeguard the environment and improve the resilience of communities against the adverse effects of climate change.