ESRI and Microsoft Team Up to Support Reforestation Efforts in Kenya

Redlands, California—February 10, 2009—Geographic information system (GIS) industry leader ESRI has joined forces with the Microsoft Corporation to support the longtime efforts of the Kenyan-based Green Belt Movement.

“Helping the world reforest and using technology to improve the effectiveness of strategies for helping heal our planet are essential in helping people and nations improve their local and the world’s environment,” says Rob Bernard, Microsoft chief environmental strategist. “We are proud to combine forces with ESRI to use our collective expertise in technology to help advance the goals of the Green Belt Movement.”

The Green Belt Movement is internationally known for its successful reforestation activities, planting more than 30 million trees since its founding in 1977 by Wangari Maathai, 2004 Nobel Peace prize recipient. According to Maathai, the introduction of computers with GIS software has “made the Green Belt Movement more efficient and effective in the use of our resources. This allows us to plant more trees and plant them where they will make the greatest difference.”

Comments Peter Ndunda, Green Belt Movement GIS specialist, “We are using GIS to assess the status of the various forests in the country. We use it in the site selection of a forest plot, then calculate the acreage of the designated site to determine the optimum number of trees to be planted. Because the world is interconnected, deforestation in Africa will eventually have an effect across the entire globe, so what we do in Kenya with reforestation will ultimately have an effect on climate change throughout the world.”

Jack Dangermond, president of ESRI, states, “The prospect of supporting the internationally recognized efforts of the Green Belt Movement is a wonderful opportunity for both of our companies. This will allow us to contribute in a very direct way to help resolve some of the many environmental challenges facing the world today.”

About ESRI

Since 1969, ESRI has been giving customers around the world the power to think and plan geographically. The market leader in GIS, ESRI software is used in more than 300,000 organizations worldwide including each of the 200 largest cities in the United States, most national governments, more than two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies, and more than 7,000 colleges and universities. ESRI applications, running on more than one million desktops and thousands of Web and enterprise servers, provide the backbone for the world’s mapping and spatial analysis. ESRI is the only vendor that provides complete technical solutions for desktop, mobile, server, and Internet platforms. Visit us at


Jim Baumann
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