King Charles, in a recent visit to Kenya, planted a tree with young environmental activist Karen Kimani, emphasizing the urgent need for action to combat environmental crises ahead of Cop28.
The COP28, is the 28th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. It's an international event that brings together world leaders and climate experts to discuss solutions to the climate crisis.
According to the Independent, the king has called for international cooperation and individual action to tackle environmental challenges.
While fulfilling the wish of a young activist to plant a tree, King Charles emphasized the importance of environmental protection, urging people to take action and work together to preserve the planet for future generations. He stressed that every individual has a role to play in protecting the planet.
During his visit to the United Nations Office in Nairobi to learn about the organization's environmental program, Charles discussed how he witnessed the impacts of climate change, including rising sea levels and wildfires.
It has been announced that the king will give the opening address of Cop28 later this year.
Subsequently, he toured Karura Forest and participated in planting an Elgon teak sapling alongside 10-year-old environmental activist Karen Kimani, who emphasized the importance of a pollution-free, clean environment.
The schoolgirl had written to Charles, asking if she could plant a tree with him but never expected to meet the British monarch.
During his address to the UN staff at their Nairobi offices, the king emphasized the importance of unity and collaboration as the world prepares for Cop28 in the coming month. He cited President William Ruto's words from the Africa Climate Summit- "We go far when we go together."
Charles has been speaking out about environmental threats to the planet since he was young and, when Prince of Wales, actively campaigned to raise awareness about the issue.
During the Africa Climate Summit, he shared with the guests that “Wildfires have left countless acres bereft of the healthy forests that sustain our planet and our livelihoods, and cyclones and floods continue to devastate both farms and cities.It is particularly heart-breaking to know that, in the Horn of Africa alone, tens of millions of people face severe hunger and drought. As I am sure the many experts in this room know only too well, left unchecked, global warming, biodiversity loss and climate change are challenges which threaten us all and can only be met by the whole of society working together in the spirit of action, partnership and commitment.”
After planting the sapling with the king, young activist Karen Kimani said: “I’m very excited and happy – this was my wish. I didn’t expect him to come.
“My mum got an email that said ‘The King is coming’ and I thought ‘Oh wow, what is this about?’. Then I heard he was coming to plant the tree.
“I decided to write a letter to the King because I wanted to let him know that children need their voices to be heard.”
Charles also collaborated with world-renowned Kenyan marathon runner Eliud Kipchoge to launch a 15km Run For Nature through the forest, taking the starting flag from the athlete and setting the youngsters on their way.
Karura Forest stands as one of Kenya's top attractions, drawing in 70,000 visitors each month to an area undergoing reforestation. The forest has also successfully reintroduced Colobus monkeys into its canopy.
Kipchoge, the current Olympic marathon champion, expressed his deep appreciation for commencing the race alongside the king.
He highlighted the significance of these young runners as they represent the future generation.
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