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Rift Valley Receives Part of Jeff Bezo’s Ksh 3.3B Climate Change Funding

The Bezos Global Fund has selected Kenya’s Rift Valley as one of the recipients of Ksh3.3 billion ($22.8 million) in funding to restore 600,000 hectares of land damaged by climate change.

On Tuesday, Bezos Earth Fund President and CEO Andrew Steer revealed that the funds would benefit Kenya’s Rift Valley, as well as Lake Kivu and the Rusizi River basin on the DRC’s border with Rwanda and Burundi.

“Africa is home to the world’s greatest restoration opportunity and is an important stakeholder in the global fight against climate change, biodiversity loss and poverty,” Steer said.

Billionaire Jeff Bezos founded the Bezos World Fund to reduce climate change and protect nature.

Speaking at the Climate Summit in Africa, Steer explained that the funds will be used for carbon cleaning (storing carbon in the carbon pool), biodiversity and human well-being.

Carbon removal is divided into two: biological (passive or indirect) and geological (direct or artificial). Biological carbon sequestration occurs when carbon is stored in natural environments in “carbon sinks,” such as forests, grasslands, soils, oceans, and other water bodies.

Geological carbon sequestration occurs when carbon is stored in places such as underground geological formations or rocks. This is the artificial removal of emissions caused by human practices, such as manufacturing or construction.

In the Rift Valley, the funds will restore 600,000 hectares of degraded land, with forests and woodlands considered one of the most effective natural carbon sequesters. Deforestation, on the other hand, poses a greater threat to this natural process, as does construction or large-scale agriculture.

Executive Director Andrew Steer also stressed that the funds will be important to empower people in difficult situations in society and change their landscape and lives.

“With these grants, we are proud to support the next generation of African institutions that are at the heart of the continent’s recovery movement and begin the important work of encouraging philanthropy to invest in recovery,” said the CEO.

Wanjira Mathai, Global Fund Africa Adviser and Executive Director of the World Resources Institute, explained that a major recovery in Africa will not be possible without local leadership, wisdom and passion.

“Africa is home to some of our planet’s greatest restoration success stories, and this funding will support local-led restoration to green our beautiful continent,” he added.

During the three-day conference held at the Kenya International Conference Center (KICC), Kenya received a major boost in its efforts to deal with the effects of climate change.

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