Vellum Green: Kenya’s ‘Green Army’ initiative to advance tree planting and ecosystem restoration

August 14, 2023 - Reading Time: 2 minutes - By Grace Marione


To address environmental challenges and advance sustainable forestry practices, the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, and Forestry has launched an ambitious endeavour called the ‘Green Army’ initiative. This initiative aims to recruit 4,000 unskilled individuals as tree nursery attendants, kickstarting a national tree-growing and ecosystem restoration programme worth  KSh15 billion.


The Green Army tree nursery attendants will be crucial in supporting this expansive environmental project. Their responsibilities will include:

  • Propagating seedlings,
  • Participating in tree-planting activities, and
  • Offering vital extension services to communities

This concerted effort is part of Kenya’s commitment to combat deforestation, enhance biodiversity, and mitigate the effects of climate change.


Speaking during a visit to Marsabit County, Environment, Climate Change, and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Soipan Tuya highlighted the significance of the Green Army initiative. Ms Tuya emphasised that the recruits would form the programme’s inaugural cohort, which is anticipated to gradually expand to 100,000 youth participants. The initiative’s primary focus is to engage young people in hands-on activities that contribute to the growth and restoration of the nation’s forests.


To be eligible for the Green Army roles, applicants must be above 18 years and possess basic literacy skills. She urged the youth not to remain idle but to actively seek out opportunities and contribute to tree-growing efforts. The recruitment process is expected to be transparent and equitable, prioritising qualified local applicants.


The heart of the Green Army initiative lies in Kenya Forest Service (KFS) forest stations. The 4,000 tree nursery attendants will be stationed nationwide in 300 KFS tree nurseries. These individuals will engage in various tasks critical to seedling propagation, including sowing seeds, cultivating wildings, and potting seedlings. By nurturing these seedlings to maturity, the Green Army will play a pivotal role in replenishing Kenya’s forests and safeguarding its precious ecosystems.


To incentivize participation, the attendants will receive monthly wages ranging from Kshs 8,613 to Kshs 16,401. The exact compensation will vary depending on their duty stations. Additionally, these recruits will be entitled to health coverage through the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) and social security benefits provided by the National Social Security Fund (NSSF).


The recruitment of the 4,000 Green Army tree nursery attendants builds upon recent efforts to bolster the forestry sector. The employment of 2,700 forest rangers and the ongoing recruitment of 600 foresters underlines the government’s determination to prioritise sustainable land management and environmental protection. By actively creating opportunities for young people to engage in reforestation, Kenya is taking a significant step towards safeguarding its natural heritage and fostering a greener future.


Kenya’s ‘Green Army’ initiative signifies a proactive and forward-thinking approach to addressing environmental challenges. By mobilising young individuals to become tree nursery attendants, the country fosters sustainable practices and nurtures a new generation of environmental stewards. Through concerted efforts like this initiative, Kenya is sowing the seeds of positive change and setting an example for global environmental preservation.

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