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HomeTop StoriesKarura Forest to be renamed after Nobel Laureate Prof. Wangari Mathai

Karura Forest to be renamed after Nobel Laureate Prof. Wangari Mathai

In summary

  • The proposal was tabled in parliament by Kamukunji MP, Yusuf Hassan to recognise the efforts that Prof Wangari Mathai put to protect the forest
  • Karura Forest is one of the largest urban gazetted forests in the world as it covers 2,570 acres

A National Assembly committee on Tuesday proposed the renaming of Karura Forest after the late Kenyan environmentalist Wangari Maathai.

In a meeting with officials from the Ministry of Environment led by Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko, the Environmental Committee successfully deliberated on the renaming of the forest.

The proposal was tabled in Parliament by Kamukunji MP Yusuf Hassan to recognise the efforts made by the founder of the Green Belt Movement, who was also the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, in protecting the forest.

MP Hassan says that Karura Forest is thriving today as a home to many animals and plant varieties because of Prof. Mathai’s efforts.

“It also provides Appropriations-in-Aid revenue for the government, through fees obtained for its therapeutic benefits that attract thousands of runners, walkers, cyclists, campers and tourists every year,” he added.

Changing the name of the forest

CS Tobiko said that the process requires public participation and that there is need for the ministry to engage Kenyans in public participation and consult further with the Cabinet, before the renaming can be done.

A rider enjoying a bicycle ride in Karura Forest.| PHOTO COURTESY

Karura Forest is one of the largest urban gazetted forests in the world as it covers 2,570 acres.

The forest, which was gazetted in 1932, has over 600 species of wildlife.

The Forest Act must be amended for the renaming of the forest to be done.

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