Director-General  QU Dongyu

In Kenya, QU Dongyu lauds efforts targeting forest conservation and greening of cities


Nairobi – The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Director-General QU Dongyu visited Karura Forest in the heart of Nairobi today as part of his three-day visit to Kenya and praised the country’s forest conservation efforts.

“FAO appreciates the work by the Kenya Forest Service and the City County of Nairobi in securing this critical urban forest. FAO with partners will explore opportunities to support securing of other urban forests and the development of green spaces in Nairobi,” he said.

Karura Forest is one of the largest urban forests in the world with an area of about 1,000 ha. It is an oasis of tranquillity at the centre of one of Africa’s fastest-growing cities.

The Director-General praised Kenya’s work in climate change mitigation through the restoration of its indigenous forests while establishing woodlots to increase tree cover which contributes to cooling the planet.

“The restoration of forests is one of the cost-effective ways in which we can fight climate change,” Qu said.

Urban forests and the development of green spaces play an important role in the implementation of the New Urban Agenda and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. Urban forestry is one of the pillars of the Green Cities Initiative which FAO launched in September 2020 and focuses on rural-urban synergies, social inclusion, resilience and sustainability.

As part of the forest tour, the Director-General planted a tree and launched two drones that will be used in forest surveillance.

“The drones that we have launched today will help in forest conservation by giving real-time information and subsequently informing timely actions,” he said.

“We are grateful for the support that we have received from FAO in the conservation of this and other forests like Kirisia and Mukogondo. We shall continue to work together because we have a common goal and we are bound by it,” said the Chief Conservator of Forests Julius Kamau.

Kenya is part of the FAO Green Cities Regional Action Programme for Africa and has commenced establishing more green spaces in Nairobi, Kisumu and Mombasa.

The Director-General was joined by the Permanent Secretary of the State Department of Forestry, Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Forestry Ephantus Kimotho, as well as the Chief Conservator Julius Kamau and FAO’s Representative in  Kenya, Carla Mucavi.

Also present during today’s event were members of the Kirisia Community Forest Association, whose efforts towards the conservation of Kirisia Forest won them the FAO Achievement Award 2022