Head Office of UNEP

UNEP undertook several activities in the UN complex in Nairobi, involving UN staff, the Kenyan Government, relevant partners, and the Kenyan youth to commemorate IBD 2007. The day’s celebrations comprised a function held between 10.30 and 12:00, followed by a tree planting ceremony, lunch for school-children participating in the event and finally, a press conference from 1pm to 2pm highlighting the achievement of the one billion tree planting target.

Speakers and dignitaries involved in the IBD events include: Professor George Saitoti, Kenyan Minister for Education; Professor Wangari Mathai, Nobel laureate, inspiration and patron of the Billion Tree campaign; Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director; James Mwangi, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Equity Bank; Dennis Garrity, Director General of the World Agroforestry Centre; Bakary Kante, Director of the Division of Environmental Law and Conventions (UNEP-DELC); and Neil Pratt, CBD Senior Environmental Affairs Officer.

Neil Pratt delivered a message on behalf of the Executive Secretary of the CBD, Dr. Ahmed Djoghlaf. In addition, the message of the UN Secretary General was read by Eric Falt.

The tree planting took place at the recreation centre with trees planted by George Saitoti, Wangari Mathai, Achim Steiner, James Mwangi, and Neil Pratt. The press conference was addressed by the Executive Director, Wangari Mathai, and Dennis Garrity, and focused on the achievement of the target of one billion trees pledged.

The winners of the essay and drawing competitions, held in Nairobi public schools, were rewarded. The essay competition focused on “How to develop without destroying biodiversity in Africa?” and the drawing competition on this year’s theme for IBD, “Biodiversity and climate change”.

Preparation and publication of the IBD brochure on biodiversity and climate change in Kiswahili was completed and copies of the booklet were distributed. UNEP-DELC had also prepared a cartoon booklet for children entitled "Why Plant Trees?". Copies of the SCBD folder on biodiversity and climate change were also distributed.

A banner announcing "International Day for Biological Diversity, 22 May 2007" was hung over major roads in the city. This, together with production of the booklets was funded through corporate sponsorship, in particular that of Equity Bank. This corporate sponsorship had also enabled the production of tee shirts and field jackets on the theme of IBD that were also distributed to some participants and school children.

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  • United Nations Environment Programme