Kenya's Climate Guardians

Marco Marcelline 14 March 2022

A young people led tree-planting initiative in Kenya has seen over 30,000 tree seedlings being planted

The Green Generation Initiative is a Kenyan charity that has been planting tree seedlings and countering deforestation and climate change in the East African nation since 2016.

Founded by climate activist Elizabeth Wanjiru Wathuti when she was twenty-one years old, the initiative’s primary focus is on nurturing young climate activists through environmental education in schools and addressing food insecurity in the region through planting fruit trees.

Since its inception, over 30,000 tree seedlings have been planted in Kenya, while thousands of schoolchildren have not just planted trees but adopted them to ensure that young people learn the importance of acting as a guardian over the health of the environment.

The trees have recorded a survival rate of over 98 per cent, as they remain tended to from seedling to maturity.

Speaking to world leaders at the recent United Nations Climate Conference in Glasgow (COP26), Elizabeth issued a stark warning on the threat of climate change: “Over two million of my fellow Kenyans are facing climate related starvation.

In 2025, half of the world’s population will be facing water scarcity. By the time I’m 50, the climate crisis will have displaced 80 million people in sub-Saharan Africa alone.”

She added: “I have been doing what I can. Inspired by the great Wangari Maathai, I founded a tree growing initiative that enhances food security for young Kenyans. So far, we have grown 30,000 fruit trees to maturity, providing desperately needed nutrition for thousands of children. Every day we see that when we look after the trees, they look after us. We are the adults on this Earth right now, and it is our responsibility to ensure that the children have food and water.”

Find out more about the Initiative here

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