NAIROBI, Jan 14 (Swara) – The East African Wild Life Society (EAWLS) and BDO East Africa, a member of an international network of public accounting, tax and advisory firms have formed a partnership to grow trees in Kenya as part of BDO’s effort to boost a positive impact on the environment and communities. Some 5,000 trees will be planted in the initial phase of the partnership.

BDO International Ltd has stressed its commitment to supporting the goal of achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions globally by 2050.

The collaboration between EAWLS and BDO was launched at an inaugural tree planting event in Kinale Forest in Kiambu County on January 13. Kinale Forest is part of the larger Aberdare Forest Ecosystem, a key water catchment area that feeds rivers that supply residents of Kiambu, Nairobi and beyond with water. The EAWLS-BDO partnership inaugural event was attended by representatives from the two partners, Kenya Forest Service, the local Community Forest Association and Kiambu county administration.

Nancy Ogonje, Executive Director, East African Wild Life Society and Sandeep Khapre, CEO, BDO East Africa plant a tree

The tree planting location was selected because it is one of the most degraded areas of the Kinale Forest Block. The forest was thick with red cedar (Juniperus virginiana) in the 1960s and 70s, but the species was extensively harvested for timber and poles over decades of weak forest management leaving much of the forestland bare, according to Paul Karanja, the Ecosystem Conservator in charge of Kiambu County.

Nancy Ogonje, EAWLS Executive Director, said the 5,000 trees that will be initially planted under the EAWLS-BDO partnership will have the capacity to sequester 109 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide when fully grown.

EAWLS in 2016 launched an initiative dubbed “The Forest Challenge” in which the organisation engages corporate entities individuals and other stakeholders to actively participate and invest in the conservation of water catchment montane forests in Kenya. This has provided an opportunity for corporations such as BDO East Africa to partner with EAWLS through the Forest Rehabilitation Programme.

The initiative is also intended to support the livelihoods of local communities through the purchase of tree seedlings from community nurseries. The community will also be involved in providing care for the saplings until they reach maturity.

EAWLS and BDO East Africa representatives at the inaugural tree planting event at Kinale Forest, Kiambu County

“We are happy to note that BDO East Africa is taking the lead in exercising environmental responsibility by partnering with us in this noble cause of growing trees in a degraded forest to not only offset carbon emissions but also to heed the call to end deforestation in East Africa,” said Ms Ogonje.

“We will endeavour to jointly meet the objective of combating deforestation while addressing the problem of climate change in East Africa through tree growing. We wish to encourage more corpor to partner with us in support of environmental conservation in the region,” she added.