Nyanza — The National tree planting campaign 2012- 2013 commenced yesterday with the planting of over 17,000 trees on twenty four hectares in Gakoni Village, RwabicumaSector, Nyanza District.
While officiating, the Minister of Natural Resources, Stanislas Kamanzi reaffirmed the government's commitment to extend and protect the existing forest cover.
He noted that this year, the government targets to plant over 22million trees across the country.
Kamanzi told residents that forests were essential to the lives of the population and requested them to keep protecting them.
"If well protected, forests play a critical role in increasing the agricultural productivity, thus uplifting people's living conditions" he said.
He urged residents to be at the forefront of the exercise in order to increase forest cover and reminded them that reforestation had a great impact in reducing the effects of climate change.
The minister noted that in order to reduce on dependence on forests for fuel, the government was encouraging the use of other sources of energy.
This year's national afforestation and reforestation campaign is being conducted under the theme: "Healthy forests, Healthy people" with the support of the International Fertiliser Development Centre (IFDC).