• Yves Rocher foundation

    The Yves Rocher Foundation

    The Yves Rocher Foundation – Institut de France was created at the initiative of Jacques Rocher, son of Yves Rocher, the man who created Botanical Beauty. The Yves Rocher Foundation helps direct local and global environmental conservation, solidarity-based and educational actions in over 50 countries. The Yves Rocher Foundation was created in 1991 and placed under the auspices of the Institut de France in 2001. It works for a "greener world" through 2 leading actions: the "Women of the Earth" Awards and the "Plant for the Planet” Programme.

  • GEF


    The Global Environment Facility is now the main source of public funding for projects to improve the state of the planet’s environment. It gave away up to 9 billion dollars from its capital stocks in grants. It also raised over 40 billion dollars of co-funding for more than 2 700 projects in over 165 countries. Moreover, the IMF has put together a separate 250 million dollar budget and 750 million dollars of co-funding to support SFM/REDD+.

  • FCPF


    The Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) is a worldwide REDD+ partnership. The FCPF helps countries with tropical and subtropical forests to develop systems and policies for REDD+ and pays them according to their emission reduction results. The FCPF complements the UNFCCC negotiations on REDD+ by demonstrating how REDD+ can be applied at the country level.

  • Firmenich


    Firmenich is the largest private company in the perfume and aroma industry. Founded in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1895, it has produced a long list of classic fine perfumes and aromas. Its passion for taste and fragrances is the key to its success. It is known for its creativity, its capacity for innovation and its exceptional understanding of the market’s trends. Every year, it invests about 10% of its revenue in research; this reflects its ongoing will to understand, share and sublimate the best nature has to offer.

  • UNEP


    The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) was created in 1972. It is the highest environmental authority within the United Nations system. The programme acts as a catalyst. It supports, instructs, facilitates and strives to promote the sensible use and the sustainable development of the world’s environment. To do this, UNEP works with many partners including United Nations agencies, international organisations, governments, non-governmental organisations, the private sector and civil society.

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Restoring our forests, the Mau Forests Complex, Kenya

Wangari Maathai

Nobel Laureate

UNEP Billion Tree Campaign patron Professor Wangari Maathai is Africa’s foremost environmental campaigner, internationally recognized for her persistent struggle for democracy, human rights and environmental conservation. In 2004, the Nobel Prize Committee recognized her lifelong commitment to environmental sustainability and the empowerment of women by awarding her the Nobel Peace Prize. In 1977, Professor Maathai founded the Green Belt Movement in Kenya which has grown into an international campaign that has planted more than 30 million trees throughout Africa.

Trees have been an essential part of my life and have provided me with many lessons. They have taught me that we must be patient, persistent, and committed. When we are planting trees, sometimes people will say to me, “I don’t want to plant a tree, because it will not grow fast enough.” I have to keep reminding them that the trees they are cutting today were not planted by them but by those who came before.

In Kenya, efforts are underway to halt the wanton destruction of the Mau Forests Complex and to restore the degraded sections of the forest. With the advice of the United Nations Environment Programme and its other partners, the Government of Kenya established a multi-stakeholder task force in 2008 to make recommendations on how to restore and conserve these forest ecosystems on which millions of Kenyans depend for sustenance.

I have not tired in my journey to fight for the conservation of our forests. I thus feel encouraged and motivated when people join in efforts to protect them. At the moment, several stakeholders and partners have signed agreements with the Kenya Forest Service to rehabilitate sections of the Mau Forests Complex and have committed to a joint responsibility for the overall management and rehabilitation of the Mau. The Green Belt Movement and its partner such as the Save the Mau Trust, and the Clinton Climate Initiative are having a combined target of planting six million trees by 2014.

We are dedicated in protecting the Mau Forests Complex because of its important ecological, economical and social services. It is the largest forested area in Kenya and at over 400,000 hectares is seven times the size of Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. It is also the largest “water tower” of Kenya feeding main rivers that flow to the west of the country providing water to six major lakes including Lake Nakuru and Naivasha in Kenya and Lake Victoria and Turkana which are trans-boundary.

Ecological services provided by its ecosystem sustain natural habitats including key conservation areas like the world famous Maasai Mara National Reserve, Serengeti in Tanzania and Lake Natron, an important breeding area for the Lesser Flamingo. Key economic sectors depend on the forests’ services including agriculture, tourism, water supply and the energy sector for hydropower generation.

Despite the vital lifeline services, the forest has during the past fifteen years lost a quarter of its original cover due to illegal resource extraction, plantations of exotic trees for timber, human encroachment, and conversion to settlement and farmlands.

Impacts from degradation of the forest have been severe; food and water shortages, power cuts from reduced water in dams, pressure on tourism and livelihoods in the region that depend on ecosystem. It should be noted that a small indigenous community, the Ogiek depend entirely on indigenous part of the forest for food, medicine and shelter.

Those of us who witness the degraded state of the environment cannot afford to be complacent. We must be driven to action. As we gear up for the International Year of Forests, I call upon policy makers and global citizen to take concerted actions towards restoring degraded forests and protecting standing forests – we owe it to the present and future generations of all species.

Wangari Maathai