The WWF is run at a local level by the following offices...
- WWF Global
- Central African Republic
- Central America
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
- European Policy Office
Caption: His Excellency, Dr. William Ruto, the President of the Republic of Kenya in the top picture in a green Fedora hat, lines up to participate in the 1 minute 59 seconds tree-planting challenge at the 7th Edition of the Annual Kaptagat Tree Planting event on 1 July 2023. In the bottom images are Olympic and World Marathon Champions Dr. Eliud Kipchoge and Vivian Cheruiyot.
President William Ruto, his Deputy Rigathi Gachagua and several members of his Cabinet battled it out with legendary Olympic and World Marathon Champions Dr. Eliud Kipchoge and Vivian Cheruiyot in a 1 minute:59 seconds tree-planting challenge in Elgeyo-Marakwet to mark the 7th Annual Kaptagat Tree Planting event.
The charged sub-two-minute challenge is symbolic of the race against time to halt the impacts of climate change by planting and growing 15 Billion trees by 2032, an ambitious goal that Kenya’s National Government has set. The tree–planting challenge at Kaptagat was inspired by Dr. Kipchoge’s 1:59 race in which he ran a full marathon in Vienna in under two hours.
Speaking during the ceremony, President Ruto called on all stakeholders, including the private sector and conservation partners, to heed his call to help the country increase its tree cover by committing to support the National Government achieve the 15 Billion Trees target by 2032.
"The 15 Billion trees will not be planted by the government. They will be planted and grown by the people. We have directed the Kenya Forestry and Research Institute to establish 18 seedling plantations across the country to ensure the availability of tree seedlings across the country," said the Head of State, addressing thousands of people who had turned up to mark the 7th Annual Kaptagat Tree Planting as well as attend a thanksgiving ceremony for the brainchild behind the Kaptagat Forest landscape restoration, Dr. Chris Kiptoo – Principal Secretary, The National Treasury.
Further, the President said that 30% of the 15 Billion trees will be fruit trees to provide food security and additional income for Kenyans.
"Tree planting is everyone's responsibility, not just of the government. It is a matter of life and death. Just like we have done the sub-two minutes tree planting race, this is a race against time because of climate change. Let us heed the President's call to plant 15 Billion trees," said Hon. Soipan Tuya - Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Forestry.
Elgeyo-Marakwet Governor, Wesley Rotich, said the distribution of fruit tree seedlings will help improve forest cover, conserve and restore the county landscape and increase incomes for farmers. The county is one of the five devolved units with the highest tree cover in the country alongside Nyeri, Lamu, Vihiga, and Kirinyaga.
Since 2017 when Dr. Kiptoo kickstarted the Kaptagat tree-planting movement, Kenya Shillings 50 Million has been injected into the landscape economy through tree seedlings procurement, production and support for the establishment of nurseries owned by Community Forest Associations, women, youth and persons with disabilities.
The commemoration of the 7th Edition was a culmination of two weeks of tree planting in which 49,600 tree seedlings were planted towards a goal of 500,000 for this season. The tree-planting began on Saturday, 17 June, in Kessup Forest Block when we relaunched the Keep Kenya Breathing campaign to plant 1 Billion trees by 2030. At the launch, and in partnership with the Kenya Forest Service we planted 5,000 tree seedlings.
"The tone has been set at the top. The leadership is very clear about what needs to be done for us to deal with the problem of land degradation and climate change. On behalf of all the partners who are here. I commit to doing our bit to make sure we deliver on what the President has set for us," said Mohamed Awer, our Chief Executive Officer, while speaking on behalf of conservation partners at the presidential event in Kaptagat.
Since the launch of the First Edition in 2017, the Kaptagat Integrated Conservation Programme has restored 1,284.2 hectares of degraded forest land. Through the restoration, local farmers who reside in the ecosystem have received 63,000 avocado seedlings to provide food security and additional income.
Dr. Kiptoo serves as the Patron of the Kaptagat Integrated Conservation Programme, the instrument through which all stakeholders participate in the restoration of the forest landscape ecosystem.