My inspiration partly comes from my childhood experiences and observations of Nature in rural Kenya. It has been influenced and nurtured by the formal education I was privileged to receive in Kenya. As I was growing up, I witnessed forests being cleared and replaced by commercial plantations, which destroyed local biodiversity and the capacity of the forests to conserve water. I came to understand that when the environment is destroyed, plundered or mismanaged, we undermine our quality of life and that of future generations.

I reflect on my childhood experience when I would visit a stream next to our home to fetch water for my mother. I would drink water straight from the stream. Playing among the arrowroot leaves I tried in vain to pick up the strands of frogs’ eggs, believing they were beads. But every time I put my little fingers under them they would break. Later, I saw thousands of tadpoles: black, energetic and wriggling through the clear water against the background of the brown earth. This is the world I inherited from my parents.

Today, some years later, the stream has dried up, women walk long distances for water, which is not always clean, and children will never know what they have lost. The challenge is to restore the home of the tadpoles and give back to our children a world of beauty and wonder.

But if we can get everybody around the world to love nature, to appreciate nature, and to make sure that we are doing this from deep within our hearts and deep within ourselves, then we can change so much in the world within a short period of time.

I am determined to empower communities, particularly children and young people, to find solutions to the climate and ecological crisis.

This is about humanity's future. This is about making sure that the world right now is liveable.

If our actions are not truly genuine, then we are not going to be doing any justice to the people that are impacted by the crisis right now. And we are not going to doing any justice to the children and the people whose lives and livelihoods depend on the decisions that are being made right now

People have recounted that unlike in the past, they were unable to meet their basic needs. This was due to the degradation of their immediate environment as well as the introduction of commercial farming, which replaced the growing of household food crops. But international trade controlled the price of the exports from these small-scale farmers and a reasonable and just income could not be guaranteed. I came to understand that when the environment is destroyed, plundered or mismanaged, we undermine our quality of life and that of future generations

Tree planting is a natural choice to address some of the initial basic needs identified by people. Also, tree planting is simple, attainable and guarantees quick, successful results within a reasonable amount time. This sustains interest and commitment.

On the environment front, they are exposed to many human activities that are devastating to the environment and societies. These include widespread destruction of ecosystems, especially through deforestation, climatic instability, and contamination in the soils and waters that all contribute to excruciating poverty.

Forests absorb a third of carbon dioxide emissions warming the planet. They combat climate change, buffer the impacts of storms and floods, and provide food, water, shelter and jobs for many communities. But we are losing almost 12 million hectares of forest every year due to deforestation - one of the biggest sources of global emissions. 

Eliminating emissions from deforestation and increasing carbon removals by promoting forest regrowth and landscape restoration could reduce global net emissions by up to 30 per cent, and over the next decade, forests could provide as much as 50 per cent of the cost-effective mitigation available.

In the process, everybody must be part of the solutions. People should realize their hidden potential and are empowered to overcome inertia and take action. They come to recognize that they are the primary custodians and beneficiaries of the environment that sustains them.

Using trees as a symbol of peace is in keeping with a widespread African tradition. For example, the elders of the Kikuyu carried a staff from the thigi tree that, when placed between two disputing sides, caused them to stop fighting and seek reconciliation. Many communities in Africa have these traditions.

Such practises are part of an extensive cultural heritage, which contributes both to the conservation of habitats and to cultures of peace. With the destruction of these cultures and the introduction of new values, local biodiversity is no longer valued or protected and as a result, it is quickly degraded and disappears. For this reason, we explore the concept of cultural biodiversity, especially with respect to indigenous seeds and medicinal plants.

If we are going to achieve everything, we will need everyone on board.What I think needs to happen is that the people who truly understand why this work is really important, need to also continue putting up so much pressure on everyone. We even need more climate activists on board, we need more people who care and are concerned about the planet to join us and make sure that we are holding everyone accountable, because this is also about system change. This is also about individual responsibility.

It's not easy to get someone to take action. That ability and the will to act has to come from deep within us so that we can do what must be done and we need to know how to get people and how to move people to actually take action. And if we get a majority of people who actually understand and feel it themselves, then we are the people that are also going to move the leaders to take action.That kind of people power is what is going to make the huge and real difference in the world today.

As I conclude I would want appreciate and acknowledge the work of countless individuals and groups across the globe, who work quietly and often without recognition to protect the environment.

Climate Change
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