Friday, September 20, 2019
 CS, Prof. Judi Wakhungu with senior officials  of her Ministry during  the leadership meeting held at the Great Rift  Valley Lodge, Naivasha

CS, Prof. Judi Wakhungu with senior officials of her Ministry during the leadership meeting held at the Great Rift Valley Lodge, Naivasha

Environment Cabinet Secretary Prof. Judi Wakhungu has challenged Semi Autonomous Government Agencies (SAGA’s) under her Ministry to increasingly share information of their dockets to satisfy the curious public that was hungry for information.

The CS urged the SAGA’s to diversify from the traditional media and step up the use of social media to convey the numerous activities they are engaged to the public as part of their service delivery. She noted that many Kenyans were now media savvy and preferred to use social media for ease of access.

Prof. Wakhungu noted that the Environment Sector was critical to development in the country adding that by sharing information regarding its many activities the Ministry would stamp its authority and be ranked highly among better performers.

Heads of Regional Development Authorities join the CS  for a group  photo during the leadership meeting at the Great Rift Valley  Lodge.

Heads of Regional Development Authorities join the CS for a group photo during the leadership meeting at the Great Rift Valley Lodge.

The CS was speaking in Naivasha during a leadership and team building workshop for senior  management staff and the SAGA’s chief Executive Officers where she emphasized the need for collaboration between the institutions under her new Ministry renamed Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Regional Authorities.

She told the meeting that was also attended by the Principal Secretary Dr. Richard Lesiyampe that her Ministry had performed well through its vision to provide a clean, healthy, safe and sustainably managed Environment and Natural Resources.

Prof. Wakhungu cited the areas of Waste management, wildlife and climate change as some of the outstanding areas that had earned her Ministry International accolades.

During the meeting the CS received an ISO 9001: 2008 that the Ministry received earlier in the year from the International certifying body SGS and commended all departments for working together to deliver results to Kenyans.

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CS Judi Wakhungu arrives at the African Union (AUC-IBAR) conference hall to launch the regional workshop on commercial gums and gum resins

CS Judi Wakhungu arrives at the African Union (AUC-IBAR) conference hall to launch the regional workshop on commercial gums and gum resins

Africa produces 95% of the world gum Arabica requirement which contributes to improved livelihoods, economies and climate change adaptation and mitigation CS for Environment and Natural Resources Prof. Judi Wakhungu has said.

The CS noted that commercial gums and resins production were among dry land commodities in Africa that provided food, medicine and cash income enhancing food security and alleviating poverty.

Prof Wakhungu noted that Gum Arabic is the third income earner for Chad while Senegal is a key player in the production and export of gum karaya.

Ethiopia Kenya and Somalia are principal producers and exporters of gum resins (Frankincense, Myrrh and Opoponax) she observed adding that Kenya exported 3000 metric tons gum resins valued at ksh. 850 million).

The CS was speaking when she opened a regional workshop on Improving the Production and Marketing of Commercial Gums and Gum Resins at the African Union (AU-IBAR) in Nairobi. It focused on enhancing Livelihoods and Climate Change Resilience in the Dry lands of Africa.     

 CS Judi Wakhungu listens during presentations during the workshop.

CS Judi Wakhungu listens during presentations during the workshop.

Prof Wakhungu said that Women play an important role in the sector particularly through post-harvest handling practices of cleaning, grading and packaging.

She said that empowered women translated to empowered families and societies adding that “Women therefore needed to be recognized and fully incorporated in the development agenda of member countries”.

 As regards to economies, Sub-Saharan Africa is a key player in the international trade of commercial gums and resins.

She added that, the Acacia, Boswellia, Commiphorra and sterculia resources are not only important in producing commodities but also in stabilizing the climate through sequestering huge amounts of Carbon.

Further Prof. Wakhungu said they also provide important environmental services like stabilizing soil erosion by water and wind thereby combating desertification, improving soils, and providing fodder for livestock and acts as sources of wood fuel.

She noted that, despite the importance of these commodities and resources, the sector is yet to be developed properly to exploit the enormous opportunities. This she noted was because the resources were facing further threats from clearing for agricultural expansion or conversion to fuel wood and charcoal, activities that are posing environmental degradation and exacerbating climate change.

The Network for Natural Gums and Resins in Africa (NGARA) was established in 2000 with the goal of assisting African Producer Countries and partners formulate a coordinated strategy for sustainable development while enhancing environmental conservation.

“It is gratifying to note that since its establishment, communication among member countries has been enhanced with increased collaboration between English and French speaking countries” she added.

Prof. Wakhungu said the government supported the development of dry lands in the country as attested from the vision 2013, the policy on the ASALs and Forest Act 2005, which is under review.

The participants for the three day workshop were drawn from 16 countries in Africa.

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The Government has made significant gains in the fight against poaching with incidences reducing by over 40 percent Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Natural Resources Prof. Judi Wakhungu has said.

Following increased surveillance on illegal trafficking, more wildlife trophies have been seized for the first time in Kenyan ports than in Asia, the CS observed, adding that global collaboration would further reduce poaching of endangered species.

 Prof Wakhungu was speaking when she presented 10 motorcycles to boost the war on poaching by Kenya Wildlife Service and private conservancies following a donation from the People’s Republic of China.

Said the CS ‘’ these motorcycles will improve patrolling of wildlife areas as well as cut down on response time to poaching attempts’’.

The patrol motorbikes donated through East African Wildlife Society (EAWLS) and Mara Conservancy Fund (MCF) will be shared among KWS-5, Mau Forest Conservancy-2, Ol Kinyei-2 and Naboisho Conservancy 1.They will boost patrols in Narok County, especially community wildlife conservancy in the Mara.

Prof. Wakhungu lauded increased collaboration between Kenya and China that will help reduce illegal wildlife trade by curtailing the supply and demand sides of the market adding that the donation will also help sustain employment for many Kenyans who depend directly on tourism sector.

The CS observed that the Government enhanced collaboration with Wildlife dependent communities and other conservation stakeholders by supporting the creation of Kenya Wildlife Conservancy Association (KWCA) that brought together all conservancies in the country. This will enable them articulate and coordinate their activities and the Kenya Conservation Alliance (KCA) that brings together all NGO’s working in the Wildlife sector. It will further strengthen the wildlife industry governance.

The donation Prof Wakhungu noted would further cement the Sino – Kenya relations in anti – poaching and conservation.

CS Prof. Judi Wakhungu admires a motorbike at the East African Wildlife Society during the handing over of the 14 motor cycles donated to fight poaching. Looking on is the KWS Ag. Director General William Kiprono.

CS Prof. Judi Wakhungu admires a motorbike at the East African Wildlife Society during the handing over of the 14 motor cycles donated to fight poaching. Looking on is the KWS Ag. Director General William Kiprono.

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Conservation Sporting Kansas City Kit 2014 Secretary, Mr. Gedion Gathaara addressing both the Chineese and Kenya delegations during the meeting

Environment conservation in the country will soon be Billiga New Balance 315 boosted following training cooperation between Kenya and China in areas of Forestry and Wildlife.

A delegation from the State Forestry Administration from the People’s Billiga Adidas Sport Bhs Dam Republic of China is in the country to implement the two country’s cooperation signed and witnessed by the Chinese Golden Goose Pas Cher Premier Li Keqiang and President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2014.

The delegation led by Mr. Liu Lijun, the deputy director Nike Free 4.0 V2 Homme general International Forestry cooperation centre met officials of the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Regional Authorities led by the Conservation Secretary Mr. Gedion Gathaara in Nairobi.

The two teams explored the practical needs of capacity building and cooperation mechanism for Kenya’s Human Resources as agreed in previous meetings.

Mr. Gathaara observed that the ongoing Infrastructural Development in Railway and Roads which was already taking place in the country with the support of China was sensitive to the conservation and Natural Resources.

The Chineese and Kenyan delegation join in a group photo after the meeting.

“Conservation of Environment and Natural Resources is already receiving a boost through infrastructural development which will impact on Kenyans by reducing poverty” the Conservation Secretary observed.

He thanked the People’s Republic of China for a proposal to Nike Free Tr Fit 3 review its domestic legislation on Wildlife poaching, adding this will positively contribute to the conservation of wildlife in Kenya.

The conservation Secretary disclosed that the training cooperation between the two countries will soon be escalated to members of Kenya’s parliament to visit China and familiarize themselves with Chinese legislature.

The Kenyan delegation comprised officials of the Kenya Forest Service, Kenya Wildlife Service and the Kenya Forestry Research Institute.

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Kenya wildlife rangers live in constant life threatening situations caused by poachers and increased human-wildlife conflict, cabinet Secretary for Environment and Natural Resources Prof. Judi Wakhungu has said.

CS Prof. Judi Wakhungu (centre) Honors the Fallen Heroes during the World rangers Celebrations at VOI, Taita Taveta County

CS Prof. Judi Wakhungu (centre) Honors the Fallen Heroes during the World rangers Celebrations at VOI, Taita Taveta County

Illegal hunting of the elephant and Rhino pose particular risk to rangers’ life’s, Prof Wakhungu noted adding that the Government will adopt new technology to protect both wildlife and human life.

The elephant and the rhino are Kenya’s flagship species that attract exceptional protection from the Government due to their value.

Rangers at Parade to honor their day of cognition as conservationist

Rangers at Parade to honor their day of cognition as conservationist

The CS who spoke during this year’s World Rangers observed at Voi stadium regretted the increased human population that created pressure on wildlife protected areas. “the increase in human population has caused pressure on wildlife protected areas and has, inevitably, increased human-wildlife conflict. The ranger is on the frontline in dealing with Human Wildlife conflicts” she noted”.

She said her Ministry was in the process of implementing the wildlife ACT once the drafting of guidelines and regulations as well as aligning KWS operations with the devolved government operations to enhance wildlife protection.

World Ranger Day is observed annually on the July 31st to commemorate rangers killed or injured in the line of duty. It celebrates the Rangers’ work in protecting the world’s natural and cultural treasures.

The celebration, observed in Kenya for the first time, formally appreciated dedicated rangers who have been committed in their conservation work thereby giving them a sense of pride and belonging alongside their counterparts in other parts of the world Prof. Wakhungu noted.

She said KWS provided the bulk of the country’s rangers while the others worked in community conservancies and the private Ranches.

The day was celebrated in each of KWS’s units, stations, Parks and Reserves in collaboration with the relevant County Governments and other stakeholders.

Prof. Wakhungu called on KWS Board of Trustees to intensify the fight against poaching through adopting new technology and human resource capacity building. This she observed could be improved through recruitment, training and equipping the staff.

She added that, further efforts will be directed towards minimizing human – wildlife conflict through Fencing and conservation awareness programs.

Further the Institutions financial base would be strengthened through resource mobilization and operationalization of the Endowment Fund to eventually support ranger’s efforts the CS added.

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 CS, Prof. Judi Wakhungu stressing a  point when   he met Mr. Mike    Pflanz  from UK's  the Independent newspaper in her   office

CS, Prof. Judi Wakhungu stressing a point when he met Mr. Mike Pflanz from UK’s the Independent newspaper in her office

The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, in collaboration with various programmes like the Green Schools has already planted 150 million trees since 2013, as one way of controlling climate change and erratic weather patterns, Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Natural Resources, Prof. Judi Wakhungu has said.

Speaking in her office when she met Mr. Mike Pflanz from UK’s “The Independent” newspapers, Prof. Wakhungu reiterated that, as the Country develops, there is need to reduce our carbon footprints in order to maintain clean air, saying that, if we destroy our forests and water towers, at the end of the day, we will be destroying ourselves as we will no longer have available water.

The Cabinet Secretary, who spoke on a wide range of issues touching on climate change, wildlife conservation, biodiversity and poaching observed that, her Ministry had set up a forensic laboratory at the Kenya Wildlife Service that will create awareness on illegal bush meat trade as it can be a source of zoonotic diseases.

Mr. Pflanz, who writes for the respected UK’s The Independent newspaper, is crisscrossing the Continent to profile personalities who have excelled in their portfolios in the newspapers column “Space for Giants”.

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CS Prof. Wakhungu is shown the inventory process of a Rhino Horn. She commissioned elephant and rhino stockpiles at the KWS headquarters in Langata, Nairobi.

CS Prof. Wakhungu is shown the inventory process of a Rhino Horn. She commissioned elephant and rhino stockpiles at the KWS headquarters in Langata, Nairobi.

The government is undertaking an inventory of all game trophies to enhance efficiency and security of their management, Environment CS prf. Judi Wakhungu has said.

So far a total of 2993 weighing 21,600 kg of ivory has already been inventoried.

The CS said the inventory process will yield a digital National Ivory and Rhino Horn Database which will be stored on a secure server hosted and maintained solely by Kenya Wildlife Service and with restricted access.

 The samples collected in the process during the inventory exercise will be stored in a secure sample bank for DNA profiling and analysis at the newly established KWS Forensic and Genetics Laboratory.

CS Prof. Judi Wakhungu at the showroom of the inventoried ivory.

CS Prof. Judi Wakhungu at the showroom of the inventoried ivory.

Prof. Wakhungu was speaking during the commissioning of inventory of elephant stock piles by the Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Prof. Judi Wakhungu.

 The Wildlife Conservation and Management Act,2013 (section 83(3) requires that Kenya Wildlife Services undertakes an audit every year of Government trophy stockpile and the cabinet secretary publishes in the Gazette, the amount of trophies held in the country.

 Prof. Wakhungu said the government is undertaking an inventory of all Ivory and Rhino Horn stockpiles that would include those held as court exhibits and any that might be held by other agencies such as the judiciary, police, customs, and wildlife conservancies among others.

 Besides, complying with the act, 2013 and fulfillment of international obligations under CITIES provisions, the exercise will be used to create a DNA reference library for profiling the national populations of the elephants and rhinoceroses.

 The DNA reference library to be created will be a central component in analysis of forensic evidence

To be used in prosecution of wildlife crime both in the country and the region. She said “I am happy that in the process of this inventory, the existing management systems of trophies in the country will be reviewed to enhance security and efficiency. It is expected that the inventory exercise will take at least 45 working days”.

 The CS added that Kenya Wildlife Service has partnered with Stop Ivory, a UK-based not-for profit organization, to support the inventory exercise by offering technical and financial contribution. The inventory of the national stockpile of these trophies requires meticulous planning and enormous resources she observed.

Inventory teams have been trained on the Inventory Technology drawn primarily from the Kenya Wildlife Service and Stop Ivory. They are supported by selected university students majorly from the Technical University of Kenya.

 Prof. Wakhungu asked all the stakeholders in the wildlife conservation sector in the country to take interest in the inventory exercise and participate as observers, urging all government agencies to follow the exercise, as it had been open and transparent.

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Cabinet Secretary Prof. Judi Wakhungu addresses participants of the capacity building and conservation management conference at the Desmond Tutu Conference Centre, Nairobi.

Cabinet Secretary Prof. Judi Wakhungu addresses participants of the capacity building and conservation management conference at the Desmond Tutu Conference Centre, Nairobi.

The Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Natural Resources Prof. Judi Wakhungu has appealed to Afrcican countries to seek for solutions in Capacity building in order to effectively conserve biodiversity and manage resources.

 The CS said capacity building should be multileveled and must be built on individuals, communities, organizations, and governments to make it successful adding that new and better methods were inevitable for success of such endeavors.

She was speaking Desmond Tutu Conference Center, Nairobi when opening a conference on Capacity Building for Conservation and Resource Management for participants drawn from African countries.

The CS said “human pressures on the natural environment continue to grow in both number and impact. Tackling these pressures requires relevant capacity for conservation action and resource management”

She noted that pressure on the Natural Resources in Africa was growing and there was an urgent need to ensure stakeholders such as communities and key organizations gained requisite skills, knowledge and information to face the environmental challenges in the coming decades.

Cabinet Secretary Prof. Judi Wakhungu (middle) with 12 year conservationist Luca Berardi, taks a group photo during the capacity building conservation conference.

Cabinet Secretary Prof. Judi Wakhungu (middle) with 12 year conservationist Luca Berardi, taks a group photo during the capacity building conservation conference.

Prof Wakhungu pointed out that it was critical for the conference participants, to discuss issues of protected areas, community engagement and rights based governance, professional e-learning and effective leadership and strong organization.

‘’In our efforts to promote sustainable development in Africa it is inevitable for us to link improved governance to these endeavors as it directly impacts on the lives of the continents rising population’’ she added.

She noted in Kenya, the devolution political model adopted after the promulgation of the Kenya Constitution 2010, places heavy responsibilities of natural Resources management to the 47 County Governments while the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources provided leadership in formulating appropriate policies, legislation, capacity building and coordination.

The conference covered among others topics:

1) Engaging the 47 county governments in developing Transition Implementation Plans in order to strengthen National and County Governments inter relationship aimed at building capacity to protect and maintain our protected areas,

2) Work with the National Assembly and the Senate in developing legislation on benefit sharing and exploitation of natural resources to develop capacity within communities, and ensure engagement & rights-based governance in terms of managing local natural resources,

3) Promote policies and legislation that incorporate reforms and values which are aimed at building effective leadership and strong organizations , in a bid to encourage e-learning, the Government has allocated 17.58 billion shillings in the 2015/2016 budget for deployment of ICT learning devices to schools.

More than 140 People from 29 different African countries attended the conference.

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PS-MENR-Dr.-Lesiyampe-Tana-River-governor-Hussein-Daddo-Lamu-deputy-governor-Eric-Gitau-and-Lamus-County-executive-for-env.-Amina-Rashid-during-the-launch

PS-MENR-Dr.-Lesiyampe-Tana-River-governor-Hussein-Daddo-Lamu-deputy-governor-Eric-Gitau-and-Lamus-County-executive-for-env.-Amina-Rashid-during-the-launch

The Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Natural Resources, Prof. Judi Wakkhungu, has called for the promotion of sustainable development and wise –use of wetlands, through the adoption of life-changing actions that not only support community well-being, but also enhance nature conservation.

In a speech read on her behalf by the Principal Secretary in the Ministry, Dr. Richard Lesiyampe, during the presentation of the  Tana Delta Land Use Plan (LUP) at the hotel Inter-continental, Nairobi, and that was attended by Tana River County governor, H.E. Hussein Daddo, Lamu deputy governor, Hon. Eric Gitau and Lamu County executive for Environment Amina Rashid, Prof. Wakhungu observed that, Tana Delta has been facing many severe threats from the impacts and activities of mankind, mainly competing land uses and  resultant conflicts.

Noting that the Tana Delta ecosystem is at a critical juncture of losing essential life-supporting services and goods, the Cabinet Secretary said her Ministry will endeavor to minimize and address impacts to the wetland resulting from changes in land use through creation   of awareness as  well as capacity building to communities within and other interest groups, and also put in place programmes that will ensure sustainable agricultural practices within the  wetlands and promote other sustainable livelihood  options to the communities in order to reduce over dependency on the wetland and their products.

Ministry of Env. & Nat. Res. Dr. Richard  Lesiyampe addressing the stakeholders during the launch.

Ministry of Env. & Nat. Res. Dr. Richard Lesiyampe addressing the stakeholders during the launch.

The Tana River Delta is one of the most important wetlands in Africa and a key biodiversity area in Kenya. It is an important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA) and a designated Ramsar site, that provides intangible environmental services such as regulating the hydrological cycle, moderating the climate, protecting soil from erosion, stabilizing the shoreline and reducing the impacts of storm surges, and in addition, it provides a wide range of habitants for terrestrial, aquatic and marine biodiversity.

Tana River governor, H.E. Hussein Daddo addressing  the stakeholders.

Tana River governor, H.E. Hussein Daddo addressing the stakeholders.

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In response to the United Nations  Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) decisions 1/CP.19 and 1/CP.20, Kenya has developed its Intended National Determined Contribution (INDC), through a consultative national process with support from partners, among them the UK and US Governments. INDC has been submitted to the United nations convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on Friday 24th July 2015………read more on Downloads

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 CS, Prof. Judi Wakhungu and Kisii Governor, H.E.  James Ongwae during the opening of the e-waste collection  point at Kisii  University

CS, Prof. Judi Wakhungu and Kisii Governor, H.E. James Ongwae during the opening of the e-waste collection point at Kisii University

The government acknowledges training programmes that are initiated by our local institutions of higher learning in collaboration with other universities abroad in the field of waste management, alongside other specialized ones on electronic waste management, Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Natural Resources, Prof. Judi Wakhungu has said.

 Speaking when she launched the first ever electronic waste implementation toolkit on waste   collection points at the Kisii University in Kisii County, Prof. Judi Wakhungu observed that, such partnerships will enable the Country to achieve its strategic vision in ensuring collaboration between the National and County governments, building of Private-Public Partnerships in Environmental Management, linking training, research and policy to ensure development and building of strong global partnerships for sustainability.

CS, Prof. Judi Wakhungu addressing the congregation at the  Kisii University grounds during the launch of the e-waste collection  point.

CS, Prof. Judi Wakhungu addressing the congregation at the Kisii University grounds during the launch of the e-waste collection point.

 Addressing the congregation that included the Kisii Governor, H.E. James Ongwae and the Vice Chancellor of Kisii University, Prof. John Akama, Prof. Wakhungu noted that, the Country’s ICT sector, that is driven by brains and talents like those in Kisii University has ensured that, the country has the most developed mobile phone financial services and money transfer systems in the World, and together with the policy of the Jubilee government to fast track the digitalization of mass media and provide mandatory computer education for all school going children, the consumption of electronic goods will increase.

 Prof. Wakhungu challenged the East Africa Compliance Recycling Company together with its extensive global networks, including the twin-city partnership between Kisii town and Oporto in Portugal to work with the local manufactures in developing products and services that are designed for recyclability and r-usability.

Prof. Judi Wakhungu planting a commemorative  tree at  Kisii University as Env. Secretary, Dr. Alice Kaudia and other  official look on.

Prof. Judi Wakhungu planting a commemorative tree at Kisii University as Env. Secretary, Dr. Alice Kaudia and other official look on.

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