Japan funds forest and land restoration actions to combat climate change in Kenya

A woman plating trees in Kenya
The FLaRAK project is key in the implementation of robust forest and landscape restoration and protection activities. Photo : UNDP Kenya

Japan has made a new contribution of approximately 2,68 million USD in climate funding to the UNDP to chart new pathways for Kenya on the concrete implementation of their climate plans. The funding was announced today during the launch of the Forestry and Land Restoration Action for Kenya’s NDC (FLaRAK) project.

“We need to act with speed and in an innovative manner to accelerate the implementation of the pledges made in Kenya’s NDC. The FLaRAK project is key in the implementation of robust forest and landscape restoration and protection activities serving as catalytic interventions that will put forth green recovery in Kenya’s NDC implementation plans while building resilience to climate change,” said the Principal Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Dr. Chris Kiptoo. 

Some of these activities include supporting counties to mainstream land use planning in their County Integrated Development Plans (CIDPs), strengthening forest extension services, reafforestation, and land restoration. The project targets three eco-systems namely the Cherangany-Elgeyo hills ecosystem, Suswa- Magadi and Kakamega forest. Kenya’s updated NDCs committed to the economy-wide reduction of 45.76 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2), equivalent to 32% of its baseline emissions of 143 million tonnes CO2 emissions. The agriculture, forestry and land sectors will play a major role in the achievement of these emission targets.

“As a government, we are committed to supporting Kenya and other countries working to combat climate change. We hope that Kenya will take forward lessons learnt from the implementation of the (FLaRAK) project,” said the Ambassador of Japan to Kenya, Amb. Ken Okaniwa. 

At COP26, UNDP launched the next phase of the Climate Promise - From Pledge to Impact - scaling up its support to turn NDC targets into concrete action in at least 100 countries. Japan becomes the largest supporter of this phase of the pioneering and groundbreaking initiative and joins the longstanding funding partners Germany, Sweden, EU, Spain, Italy, as well as the new funding partners UK, Belgium, Iceland, and Portugal to accelerate these efforts. 

UNDP’s Climate Promise is the largest global climate and development offer of support to countries on their national pledges to the Paris Agreement. In Kenya, the initiative has supported the Ministry of Environment and Forestry to advance its climate agenda including strengthening institutions, developing inclusive policy and legal frameworks as well as developing transparency systems.

“UNDP will continue to support efforts to sustain resilient forest ecosystems that benefit local economies, protect biodiversity, and address the root causes of climate change through technical advisory, facilitating learning and south-south exchanges, designing innovative finance platforms as well as strengthening governance to developing countries,” said UNDP’s Resident Representative Mr. Walid Badawi.