The 2009 Play for the Planet, organized by UNEP in cooperation with Mavuno Michezo and in partnership with Bayer, was held from the 17 to 18 October at the coastal town of Mombasa, Kenya. The event brought together corporate partners, schools and young people who planted 25,000 trees and participated in a corporate challenge as well as promote environmental awareness.
Plant for the Planet
Following great media promotion by Capital Fm radio station, the weekend’s activities kicked off at the Bamburi Haller Park where UNEP Play for the Planet has been reclaiming the rocky quarry, rejuvenating it into a conservancy filled with exotic wildlife. Bamburi cement provided land at the quarry where 10,000 trees were planted. The event also got overwhelming support from the British council and General Motors. This was soon followed by planting 3,000 trees in the city streets. The event was graced by the Town clerk of Mombasa who announced that the Municipality had pledge 2 million trees to the Billion tree campaign which will be planted by the end of 2010. In addition, this initiative which started in 2003 in conjunction with the University of Nairobi added another angle to its agenda. With the devastating food crisis, this year, Play for the Planet added an exciting twist by planting 12,000 indigenous and fruit trees found in the coastal area such as Neem, Mango and Jatropha. These trees were planted by students in over 10 schools in Mombasa. This long term, self sustaining initiative is aimed at providing school children with natural food supplements through fruit trees growing in their learning environment.
Play for the Planet
18 October brought all the participants to ‘Play for the Planet!’ bringing out the relation between sports and the environment. We can only play sports in a clean and health environment. Hosted by the Sarova Hotels, the white sandy beach was filled with sporting activities, and the competitors and participants took turns to sign the Seal the Deal! petition on climate change. There was great competition between teams from UNEP, Mavuno Michezo White Sands hotel and Kenya Ports Authority to win the cup in the beach volleyball and beach soccer tournaments. This year, the Play for the Planet yet again took another step towards meeting its goal to use the power of sport to provide a positive environment for interaction for young people and corporate organizations in Kenya.
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