Planting trees and energy saving technologies needed in Kenya

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United Nations News Centre – Cost of deforestation in Kenya far exceeds gains from forestry and logging,

Kenya: Study – Kenya Loses 5.6 Million Trees Daily

EXCERPT

According to the study by Green Africa Foundation, a non-governmental agency, Kenya loses an astonishing 5.6 million trees daily, despite relentless campaigns on environmental conservation.

Forest being extensively cleared in Kenya - http://www.plant-talk.org/images/content/CopyofMaasaiMau-Extensiveclearingofindigenosuforest.JPG
Forest being extensively cleared in Kenya – http://www.plant-talk.org/images/content/CopyofMaasaiMau-Extensiveclearingofindigenosuforest.JPG

The research findings reveal that 64.6 percent of all Kenya’s 8.7 million households (based on the 2009 national population census) depend entirely on firewood as their cooking fuel, where each harvests between 10kgs and 20kgs of firewood daily.

This settler in the Mau Forest, Kenya is clearing land for subsistence agriculture, which was previously thought to be one of the main factors contributing to deforestation. The new study shows that the most important causes of deforestation in the 21st century are probably an expanding urban population and global agricultural trade. © Christian Lambrechts, UNEP - http://www.plant-talk.org/images/content/CopyofMaasaiMau-Asettlerburnstheforesttoplantcabbagesandothercrops_001.jpg
This settler in the Mau Forest, Kenya is clearing land for subsistence agriculture, which was previously thought to be one of the main factors contributing to deforestation. The new study shows that the most important causes of deforestation in the 21st century are probably an expanding urban population and global agricultural trade. © Christian Lambrechts, UNEP – http://www.plant-talk.org/images/content/CopyofMaasaiMau-Asettlerburnstheforesttoplantcabbagesandothercrops_001.jpg

The deforestation problem in Kenya captures the situation on the entire African continent.

Studies show that at the end of 1990, Africa had an estimated 528 million hectares, or 30 percent of the world’s tropical forests. In several Sub-Saharan African countries, the rate of deforestation exceeded the global annual average of 0.8 percent.

While deforestation in other parts of the world is mainly caused by commercial logging or cattle ranching the leading causes in Africa are associated with human activity.

Developing countries rely heavily on wood fuel, the major energy source for cooking and heating. In Africa, the statistics are striking: an estimated 90 percent of the entire continent’s population uses wood fuel for cooking, and in Sub-Saharan Africa, firewood and brush supply approximately 52 percent of all energy sources.

Read the full article: allAfrica

 

Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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