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Kenya Asks For $400 Million To Save Its Forest

September 10, 2009

On Wednesday, Kenya appealed for $400 million to try and conserve its largest forest ecosystem, which has been dwindling down over the past 20 years.

The UN Environment Program (UNEP) said in a statement that about 25 percent of the 988,000 acre Mau forest has been lost because of encroachment, illegal logging and destructive agriculture.

“I wish to appeal to every Kenyan and development partners to support the government’s efforts to rehabilitate the Mau,” said Prime Minister Raila Odinga, whose office has been tasked with restoring the forest.

According to AFP, Mau forest is the source of several rivers that drain into Lake Victoria, Lake Turkana and Lake Natron.

“The rehabilitation of the ecosystem will require substantial resources and political goodwill,” UNEP’s director Achim Steiner said at the launch of the appeal at the UN headquarters in Nairobi.

Odinga’s office warned, “it will only be a matter of time before the entire ecosystem is irreversibly damaged.”

“We are looking at securing the livelihoods and economies of millions of Africans who directly and indirectly depend on the ecosystem,” Odinga said.

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