Austrian President Van der Bellen Met with Delegation of the Sauti-Kuu Foundation

PeopleOther ♦ Published: June 13, 2022; 20:12 ♦ (Vindobona)

The climate crisis affects the entire world and environmental protection is an important component of future-oriented development policy. In the course of Austrian development policy, Austria's President Alexander Van der Bellen met with the delegation of the Sauti-Kuu Foundation from Kenya.

Austria's President Alexander Van der Bellen met with the delegation of the Sauti-Kuu Foundation from Kenya. / Picture: © / Carina Karlovits / HBF

The fight against climate change is an important component of serious development policy. The climate crisis is a global problem and its consequences primarily affect countries in the global South. Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen met with a delegation from Kenya.

Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen visited the Kenyan delegation in the "Forest of the Future" in the Federal Forestry District of Leiben near Wieselburg (Lower Austria) and got an idea of how the local forests are being made climate-proof for future generations.

Together with Austria's first Lady, Mrs. Doris Schmidauer, Van der Bellen exchanged views with ÖBf experts and the delegation from Kenya on the challenges of sustainable forest management in times of climate change.

In cooperation with the Sauti Kuu Foundation of Auma Obama (Kenyan author, journalist and the older half-sister of the former U.S. president) the Austrian Federal Forests (ÖBf) are organizing a four-week educational visit for a twelve-member delegation from Kenya in June 2022. "Msitu wa siku zijazo", which means "forest of the future" in the Kenyan national language Kiswahili, is the name of the program.

Currently a total of twelve people, eight women and four men, from the agricultural and forestry sector in Kenya are receiving further training in Austria on the topics of silviculture in the context of the climate crisis, reforestation and tree seed management, sustainable wood utilization, nature conservation and ecological landscape management as well as occupational safety and cooperation in agricultural communities under the guidance of ÖBf experts and partner organizations.

The knowledge gained from theory and practice is transferred to the regional conditions in Kenya in regular reflection rounds.

The four-week educational stay is organized by the Austrian Federal Forests in cooperation with the Sauti Kuu Foundation of Auma Obama and Oikocredit Austria. The patron of the foundation in Austria is Doris Schmidauer.

Oikocredit Austria is a development cooperative that refinances microcredit programs as well as other socially working small and medium-sized enterprises and many other social projects on a global level. In this way, the international development cooperative supports the development of financial infrastructures in Asia, Africa and Latin America, so that access to financial services is also created for people living in poverty.

Importance of the Program

The project is intended to strengthen the overall environmental protection and help secure the ecology of forests around the world.

Austrian Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen explained the importance of the program: "Austria's forests are an essential part of the biodiversity and history of our country. They are home to numerous species and play a major role in the climate. For us humans, forests are essential in terms of quality of life and, above all, in terms of our future. I therefore very much welcome the important work and commitment of the Sauti Kuu Foundation in Siaya County in Kenya. In cooperation with the families in the region, a pilot reforestation project is already underway there. Now the cooperation with the Federal Forests is being added to this. I think this exchange is enormously important - for all of us. Because when it comes to environmental protection, we can't learn enough from each other!"

The effects of the climate crisis on our natural environment are omnipresent - weather extremes are becoming more frequent, average temperatures are rising and periods of drought are increasing.

However, forests are not only affected by the climate crisis themselves, they are also part of the solution in the fight against global warming and provide an important source of work and livelihood for many people worldwide.

Presidential Chancellery of Austria

Sauti-Kuu Foundation

Oikocredit Austria