Kenya Implements Groundbreaking AI System to Nurture 6 Million Trees


AstraZeneca has committed to planting up to six million trees in Kenya as part of its AZ Forest program to foster climate action, human health, and community resilience. The reforestation initiative, spanning six counties in western Kenya near the Rift Valley, encompasses over 3,500 hectares of land. Notably, the company plans to leverage an innovative A.I. deep learning model to analyze drone footage and satellite imagery, enabling real-time monitoring of tree growth, health, and carbon sequestration levels—a pioneering approach in sustainable reforestation efforts.

Harnessing Technology for Science

Utilizing a science-driven approach and incorporating cutting-edge technological advancements, the initiative aims to foster the long-term well-being of trees, enhance the biodiversity of flora and fauna, and stimulate economic growth in local communities.

The role of nature-based solutions in addressing the climate health crisis takes center stage at COP28, with a particular emphasis on advancing from the Glasgow Declaration of COP26 to combat deforestation. Recent research underscores the profound impact of reforestation and safeguarding existing trees in the fight against climate change, potentially capturing up to 226 gigatonnes of carbon.

Juliette White, Vice President of Global Sustainability at AstraZeneca, emphasized the unmistakable connection between planetary and human health. She stressed the significance of investing in the natural world by undertaking initiatives such as tree planting, conservation efforts, and the restriction of deforestation. White highlighted these measures as crucial preventive steps for health. AstraZeneca’s expansion of AZ Forest to Kenya reflects its dedication to large-scale reforestation. This initiative, guided by science, aims to bring about positive outcomes for the environment and local communities.

Preserving Indigenous and Productive Tree Species to Improve Soil Health

AstraZeneca collaborates with leading experts to develop the AZ Forest program, partnering with Earthbanc and the Green Planet Initiative 2050 Foundation (GPI2050) for its initiative in Kenya. The project focuses on enhancing soil health and local crop yields by cultivating indigenous and productive tree species. The agro-economy will benefit from the production of leaves and honey.

Engaging over 5,000 local farmers and community members, the project aligns with Kenya’s ambitious reforestation goals. Her Excellency Rachel Ruto, the First Lady of the Republic of Kenya, emphasizes the need for collective action from governments, individuals, and businesses to address the impacts of climate change.

AstraZeneca’s commitment to reforestation is commendable, as they collaborate with local communities to ensure both environmental impact and economic benefits align. This endeavor aligns with Kenya’s ambitious plan to plant 15 billion trees in the coming decade. Earthbanc, led by CEO Tom Duncan, expresses enthusiasm for supporting this land regeneration project in Kenya. With a focus on private sector climate finance, Earthbanc aims to accelerate reforestation efforts, addressing the challenges of climate change. The AZ Forest initiative emphasizes the circular bio-economy and promotes sustainable communities, ecosystem health, and markets. The collaborative effort anticipates significantly contributing to global endeavors for planetary regeneration.

Other African Reforestation Projects

AZ Forest’s global initiative to cover 100,000 hectares worldwide is making significant strides beyond Kenya. In Ghana, the project has seen the planting of nearly three million trees this year, contributing to a cumulative total exceeding four million since its launch in 2021.

Engaging 1,200 farmers in 23 communities, the initiative has taken root, while in Rwanda, 6,000 farming households are actively participating. Sixteen community nurseries have been established to cultivate various indigenous and fruit tree species. The upcoming months will witness the commencement of planting with an ambitious target of 5.8 million trees across 21,000 hectares, marking one of Rwanda’s most extensive forest restoration endeavors.



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