Thursday, May 25, 2017

23.05.2017

DSC_0225ROLL - The Dir, Env. Ed. and Awareness Intitiative, Dr. Ayub Macharia (in white turban) with dignitaries, among them DG, KWS Mr. Kitili Mbathi and KFS chair, Peter Kinyua, during the launch of Hood Safi Trust.

DSC_0225ROLL – The Dir, Env. Ed. and Awareness Intitiative, Dr. Ayub Macharia (in white turban) with dignitaries, among them DG, KWS Mr. Kitili Mbathi and KFS chair, Peter Kinyua, during the launch of Hood Safi Trust.

The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources has established a National Steering Committee on Waste Management, to upscale the enforcement of waste regulations, and is spearheading development of a National Waste Management Bill to further guide on governance and investment in waste Management in the Country, Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Prof. Judi Wakhungu has said.

In a speech read on her behalf by the Director of Environmental Education and Awareness Initiative in the Ministry, Dr. Ayub Macharia, during the launch of the Hood Safi Trust, an organization proposing to embark on a national anti-littering campaign in the Country, Prof. Wakhungu noted that, in an effort to guide the counties and Kenyan public on solid waste Management, the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), had developed the National Solid Waste Management Strategy  that outlines what stakeholders need to do to rid our country of the solid waste menace.

Prof. Wakhungu applauded efforts by the Hood Safi Trust, whose campaign strategy is “Sitaki Takataka” for seeking to use the youth as the vehicle for attitude change, noting that, young people form the bulk of our country’s population and any large-scale change, must have them at the forefront.  The CS noted that, provision of information on the dangers of littering and how best to combat it from a young age, will ensure a generation which holds the reclamation and safeguarding of our environment as sacred.

The Hood Safi Trust whose objectives are to create awareness about the problems of littering and its seriousness, aid in developing strategies for reducing litter, understand attitudes and behaviours towards littering and create social deterrence’s  hence convincing people to stop littering, proposes to use celebrities to craft strategies of effective communication to reach the targeted audience, and increase awareness and behavior change.

The function, that was held at the Kenyatta International Convention Center, was also attended by the Kenya Wildlife Service Director General, Mr. Kitili Mbathi, Chair of Kenya Forest Service board, Peter Kinyua, Kenya Association of Manufactures chair, Flora Mutahi, UNEP representatives and other private and business community representatives.

Members of the board of directors of the Hood Safi Trust, among them one of the celebrities, Mr. Jeff Koinange, during the launch at the KICC, Nbi. DSC_0215

Members of the board of directors of the Hood Safi Trust, among them one of the celebrities, Mr. Jeff Koinange, during the launch at the KICC, Nbi. DSC_0215

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1Several parts of the country received rainfall during the past week, with very heavy rainfall being recorded over the coastal region as well as some areas within the Highlands west of the Rift Valley.…Readmore

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CS Prof. Judi Wakhungu is shown a copy of a book Birth of a Nation, the story of Nation Newspaper, by NMG Editor-in-chief Tom Mshindi. She was presented with the book during a courtesy call at the Nation Centre

CS Prof. Judi Wakhungu is shown a copy of a book Birth of a Nation, the story of Nation Newspaper, by NMG Editor-in-chief Tom Mshindi. She was presented with the book during a courtesy call at the Nation Centre

The cabinet Secretary for Environment and Natural Resources Prof.  Judi Wakhungu has urged Kenyans to change their behavior on the use of polythene as it was a health and Environmental hazard.

She said polythene used for manufacture of plastic carrier bags was a dangerous contaminant and pollutant that caused deaths of livestock, fish and life in biodiversity.

Prof. Wakhungu emphasized that the ban on the use and manufacture of plastic bags by the government will be affected in September adding that the move will exempt plastics used in primary production of goods.

She said that the ban on plastics was consistent Kenyans right to a clean healthy environment that was provided for as provided for by the country’s constitution and appealed to Kenyans to help eradicate the use of the destructive product.

Environment PS Mr. Charles Sunkuli makes a point at the Nation Centre during a courtesy call by CS Prof. Wakhungu on the Editor-in- Chief Mr. Tom Mshindi. On PS’s left is Prof. Geoffrey Wahungu, DG NEMA and NMG’s Advertising Director Mr. Michael Ngugi

Environment PS Mr. Charles Sunkuli makes a point at the Nation Centre during a courtesy call by CS Prof. Wakhungu on the Editor-in- Chief Mr. Tom Mshindi. On PS’s left is Prof. Geoffrey Wahungu, DG NEMA and NMG’s Advertising Director Mr. Michael Ngugi

The CS was speaking when she paid a courtesy call on the Nation Media Group’s Editor-in-Chief Mr. Tom Mshindi at his office.  She confirmed that alternatives to the plastic carrier bag were already in use and included traditional wooven bags, paper bags using sisal, bamboo and water hyacinth.

Prof Wakhungu observed that production of the alternative carrier bags would create employment in the country and promote the use of local products.

She was accompanied by Principal Secretary for Environment Mr. Charles Sunkuli and the Director General of National Environment Management Authority Prof. Geoffrey Wahungu.

 

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CS, Prof. Judi Wakhungu exchanging the signed Performance Contract with Chair, Kenya Wildlife Board of Management, Dr. Richard Leakey, in her NHIF office.

CS, Prof. Judi Wakhungu exchanging the signed Performance Contract with Chair, Kenya Wildlife Board of Management, Dr. Richard Leakey, in her NHIF office.

Performance contracting is a management tool for measuring performance against negotiated targets that are freely negotiated specifying mutual performance obligations, intentions and responsibilities.

Performance contracts are therefore important tools for forward planning, that remind us about the highlights of our annual work plans, and while each institution has its unique performance contract, the respective targets complement each other in ensuring a clean and healthy environment as envisaged in our constitution, Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Prof. Judi Wakhungu said.

The Cabinet Secretary made the observations during the signing ceremony of the Performance contracts for State Corporations under her Ministry. She called on SAGAs under her Ministry to take their targets a notch higher and work together so that at the end, Kenyans will have something to thank us for.

CS, Prof. Judi Wakhungu, flanked by PS, Natural Resources during the signing ceremony. The chair, KWS board and the Director General, Mr. Kitili Mbathi attended.

CS, Prof. Judi Wakhungu, flanked by PS, Natural Resources during the signing ceremony. The chair, KWS board and the Director General, Mr. Kitili Mbathi attended.

The function, that was attended by the Principal Secretary, State Department of Natural Resources, Dr. Margaret Mwakima, saw the Management of the Kenya Wildlife Service, led by the Chair of the Board of Management, Dr. Richard Leaky, who was accompanied by the Director General, Mr. Kitili Mbathi and other senior KWS officials, sign the Performance contract.

 

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Coral reefs in the Indian Ocean. Coral reefs are breeding grounds for fish and other marine life and a major tourist attraction

Coral reefs in the Indian Ocean. Coral reefs are breeding grounds for fish and other marine life and a major tourist attraction.

Coral reefs inhabit less than 0.1% of the world’s oceans but are some of the most productive and diverse ecosystems on the planet. They are the largest living structure on the planet. Though coral reefs cover less than 1% of the Earth’s surface, over 25% of all marine fish species find their homes in coral reefs.

The reef plays a diverse role. As well as bio-diversity strongholds, they are breeding grounds for fish and other marine life, a vital barrier against the force of the sea, protecting marine organisms and tourist recreation, keep out dangerous sharks commonly found in the deeper waters, and their color and the exotic coral fish they support provides a major attraction for tourists.

These amazing corals face many threats, including damage from poorly managed tourism, bad fishing practices (such as fishing with poison, dynamite or trawlers), over fishing, water pollution, climate change and many others.

Even with the looming dangers the reefs face, the level of awareness of coral reef conservation within coastal community as well as the local fishing communities has increased. This has changed the attitude of fishermen who now recognize the importance of conserving their environment for the future and are now less likely to use destructive fishing gear.

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Inside one of the cottages where oil lamps for lighting are used instead of electricity

Inside one of the cottages where oil lamps for lighting are used instead of electricity

Biodiversity plays a key role in promoting tourism in Kenya. The tourism sector generates a lot of revenue to the Kenyan government and for biodiversity to be maintained or increased, tourism revenue has to be well managed.

Kenya will be joining the international community to celebrate the International Day for Biodiversity on Monday 22nd May, 2017. This year’s theme is ‘Biodiversity and Sustainable Tourism’. The theme was chosen to coincide with the observance of 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development as proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

A sign post to the Kigio Wildlife Conservancy on the Naivasha-Nakuru road

A sign post to the Kigio Wildlife Conservancy on the Naivasha-Nakuru road

It recognizes the importance of sustainable tourism and how it helps achieve both economic growth and sustainable use of biodiversity. The UN established and uses the International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB) to increase understanding and awareness on biodiversity issues.

The contribution of tourism to conservation is increasingly recognized by the international community. The convention on Biodiversity provided for guidelines on biodiversity and tourism development to combine biodiversity conservation with sustainable tourism development. Biodiversity underpins human development by impacting natural processes, thereby affecting human life in different ways.

In Kenya, there are some parks and conservancies that practice sustainable tourism as well as conserve their biodiversity. For example, the Kigio Wildlife Conservancy located near Gilgil town in the Great Rift Valley. The local community owns and operates it. It started in 1997 with the aim of providing a wildlife sanctuary and a sustainable eco-tourism destination. Some of the practices carried out that promote sustainability are; the cottages used for accommodation at Kigio are made using local and reclaimed materials, furniture is built from timber that has been reclaimed from the ground, oil lamps are used instead of electricity.

One of the cottages that is used for accommodation at the conservancy made of locally reclaimed materials and its furniture made from reclaimed timber from the ground

One of the cottages that is used for accommodation at the conservancy made of locally reclaimed materials and its furniture made from reclaimed timber from the ground

Other activities carried out at Kigio that are in line with this year’s theme include partnerships with local communities by funding community projects, employing local people as guides, taking care of orphaned wildlife as part of conservation activities. Kigio has managed to conserve diverse habitats which include short grass, the Leleshwa shrub and euphorbia woodlands. It has so far protected about 100 indigenous plant species.

The conservancy has over 300 bird species including the world’s largest population of grey-crested helmetshrikes. Some of the animals that graze at Kigio include waterbuck, African buffalo, spotted hyena, spring hare, aardvark, African leopard, impala, aardwolf, honey badger and hippopotamus among others. Rothschild’s giraffe which is an endangered species is also found here.

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001The sacred Kaya forests of the Mijikenda community are a living legacy of the people’s history, culture and religion. It is near Diani Beach in Kwale county that is internationally recognized as a tourist destination.

The forest is well represented in biodiversity in terms of sheer diversity, endemism, rarity in many biological groups and bears marks of prolonged human settlement and use. It has 187 plant species, 45 butterfly species, over 48 bird species, the colobus monkey and the rare golden-rumped elephant shrew.

The forest has opened up for controlled ecotourism, a first in the Kenyan coast, which aims to generate income and conserve the sacred forest. The diverse flora and fauna of the forest and the associated processes support local communities in sectors such as biomass energy, food, shelter, herbal medicine, the ecotourism industry and agricultural productivity.

002The forests are also important sources of non-provisioning ecosystem services such as air and water purification, pollination, seed dispersal, climate modification, soil stabilization, drought and flood control, recycling of nutrients, and maintaining healthy habitats. Others include spiritual and aesthetic values, supporting indigenous knowledge systems, and education.

Biodiversity conservation, particularly in these primary sacred forests, mitigates the loss of variability of plant genetic resources and hence averts an economic slump in the region. The conservation and sustainable use of the genetic resources is important to the survival of the local communities and environmental conservation.

Local adaptation strategies to climate change are directly supported by the rich biodiversity of the Kaya forests. For example, improvements in crop cultivars and varieties are made possible by harnessing genes from wild species and known varieties. The rich biodiversity observed in Kaya forests is a natural reservoir of genetic traits in crop cultivars and traditional landraces that is important in improving agricultural production.

003However, the involvement of foreign business interests in property grab is contributing to the destruction of the indigenous vegetation posing a threat to the ecosystem. Moreover, tourist development has been destructive to the Kaya Forests as the Diani area has been intensively developed thereby drastically reducing the forest area.

As we prepare to celebrate the International Day for Biodiversity (IDB) on Monday 22nd May, 2017, it is good to note that the current pristine status of many Kayas demonstrate the important role that social taboos have played in biodiversity conservation over time; as these forests have remained intact due to taboos that prohibited tree felling, livestock grazing and extraction of forest products.

 

 

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The CS Prof. Judi Wakhungu and PS Dr. Margaret Mwakima takes a group photo, in commemoration to the 12th, May 2017, pass out for 83 foresters and 60 men and women bands men, at the Kenya Forestry College in Londian.

The CS Prof. Judi Wakhungu and PS Dr. Margaret Mwakima takes a group photo, in commemoration to the 12th, May 2017, pass out for 83 foresters and 60 men and women bands men, at the Kenya Forestry College in Londian.

The government has challenged new forest recruits to abide by the set Forest and Conservation guidelines, which spells out their duties and responsibilities.

While officiating the pass-out of 83 Foresters and 60 bands men and women at Kenya Forest Service College in Londiani, Kericho County on Friday, Environment and Natural Resources Cabinet Secretary Prof. Judi Wakhungu asked the recruits to serve with humility and steadfast dedication as envisaged in the Constitution and the Forest Conservation and Management Act 2016.

 The Cabinet Secretary said that in their duties, the officers will be in charge of a critical natural resource that attracts many unscrupulous and unethical persons whose  aim are  to enrich themselves at the expense of the country’s natural resources.

Wakhungu warned recruits of their involvement in malpractices associated with forest destruction, saying they risk losing their job if spotted abetting corruption in their work stations.

She said the Government has declared zero tolerance to corruption and any corrupt or unethical activities on their part will also lead to prosecution and possible jail terms.

The Cabinet Secretary said the image portrayed by the officers in performing their duties will be the image of the Service that communities will identify about her   Ministry alongside the Government. “Competency, effectiveness and professional service are key in addressing many challenges facing forest conservation in the country” she added.

Prof. Wakhungu further urged the officers to handle the assets and equipment under their charge with great sensitivity and professionalism, averting cases of misuse.

She said her Ministry will continue to support Kenya Forest Service in conservation work by ensuring that the organization has adequate manpower, equipment and other resources that it requires to fulfill its mandate.  This demonstrates the commitment of the Government to enabling the Service to adequately protect and conserve our forest resources for the present and future generations.

Present at the occasion were State Department of Natural Resources Principal Secretary Dr. Margaret Mwakima, Kenya Forest Service Board Chairperson Peter Kinyua and Chief Conservator of Forest Emilio Mugo.

Cabinet Secretary Prof. Judi Wakhungu and her Principal Secretary Dr. Margaret Mwakima with Senior officials of KFS, ready to lead the passing out parade for basic paramilitary course 2017.

Cabinet Secretary Prof. Judi Wakhungu and her Principal Secretary Dr. Margaret Mwakima with Senior officials of KFS, ready to lead the passing out parade for basic paramilitary course 2017.

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LVEMPThe Principal Secretary for Environment Mr. Charles Sunkuli has expressed confidence that the World Bank will commit fresh support to the Lake Victoria Environmental Management progromme (LVEMP 11) whose second phase expires in December 2017.

Mr. Sunkuli noted that the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources had already prepared a concept note for LVEMP phase three that is under consideration for funding by the World Bank.

The World Bank provides major funding of the regional programme in the East African community countries that occupy the Lake Victoria catchment area and has already expressed commitment to support the next phase following the success of phase 11.

LVEMP involves various environmental projects around the catchment areas of Lake Victoria aimed at conservation and uplifting the standards of living for the local people.

The PS was speaking at his office when he received World Bank officials on the projects supervision who paid a courtesy call on him.

The officials included the outgoing task team leader Stephen Ling and the Incoming team leader Jian Xie. They were accompanied by the director of Programs, projects and Strategic Initiatives in the State department of Environment, Agnes Yobterick and LVEMP 11 National project coordinator Francisca Owour.

Environment Principal Secretary Mr. Charles Sunkuli with LVEMP II incoming Team Leader Jian Xie when he paid courtesy call to him

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CS LAUDS “SITAKI TAKATAKA” INITIATIVE

23.05.2017 The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources has established a National Steering Committee on Waste Management, to upscale the […]

WEATHER FORECAST FOR THE NEXT SEVEN-DAY PERIOD VALID 23RD TO 29TH MAY, 2017

Several parts of the country received rainfall during the past week, with very heavy rainfall being recorded over the coastal […]

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