Monday, November 19, 2018
PS, Dr. Lesyampe exchanging the signed agreement with the head of development at the European Union as SDA Amb. Kandie applauds

PS, Dr. Lesyampe exchanging the signed agreement with the head of development at the European Union as SDA Amb. Kandie applauds

Environmental protection has received a shot in the arm following the signing of a sh.3.5 billion agreement to conserve two of the country’s largest water towers and ecosystems.

Mt. Elgon and Cherangany water towers in western Kenya will benefit from the joint strategy between the Ministry of Environment, Water and Natural Resources and the European Union in an effort to protect long term water needs in the region.

Hundreds of thousands of residents who rely on water supplies from Mt. Elgon in Trans Nzoia, Bungoma and Mt. Elgon Counties and those dependent on Cherangany Hills, including West Pokot, Uasin Gishu, Kakamega, Busia, Siaya and Counties will benefit from the program.

The joint strategy was signed by Dr. Richard Lesiyampe the Principal Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources on behalf of the Government and the Head of Development at the European Union in Kenya, Erik Habers. The country has five major water towers, including the Abadares, Mt. Kenya and Mau Forest.

The initiative will protect ground supplies of water which are essential for farming and improves Sanitation. The targeted areas are tracts of land that store rain water, enable regular river flows, recharge ground water storage, improve soil fertility, reduce erosion and sediment in river water, and host a diverse species of plants and animals.

During the signing ceremony held at the Ministry headquarters, Dr. Lesiyampe said “Kenya’s water assets are vital to the country’s future. They need to be conserved especially in this era of climate Change that is starting to hit Kenya”.

He said that conserving, restoring and regulating Kenya’s water towers will benefit tens of thousands of people in ten counties and that action is needed now to build long term solutions to protect Kenya’s future agriculture and water supplies.

Mr. Habers noted that the current drought in many parts of the country, underlined the importance of maintaining national water assets in Kenya as it increasingly relied on scarce rain water for both farming and human consumption.

The programme he added was part of a long partnership between his organization and the Kenyan Government, to generate long-term challenges, especially involving food production and reducing the impact of drought.

The conservation strategy will help implement constitutional provisions on Environment and forests protection and will form part of the Governments second medium term plan to protect the environment and address the effects of climate change.

PS, SDENR and Head of Dev. in the EU making remarks before signing the agreement

PS, SDENR and Head of Dev. in the EU making remarks before signing the agreement

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Elected  leaders from the Ogiek and Sengwer communities pose for a group photo with the PS, Dr. Lesiyampe in his office

Elected leaders from the Ogiek and Sengwer communities pose for a group photo with the PS, Dr. Lesiyampe in his office

The Government is keen to ensure the conservation and rehabilitation of all water catchment areas in the country so as to address the adverse effects of climate change, Principal Secretary in the State Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Dr. Richard Lesiyampe has  reiterated.

Addressing   leaders from the Ogiek and the Sengwer community who occupy the areas surrounding the Ebobut and Mau catchment ecosystems in his office, Dr. Lesiyampe reminded them that, the two forests are the lifelines of millions of Kenyans who live down stream and as such, the forests have to be free of any human activities for them to re-generate and recharge the ground water quivers where some of the major rivers originate.

Dr. Lesiyampe thanked the communities for   coming together and forming structures and electing their own leaders who can champion and negotiate for their interests and ensure the success of conservation efforts.

On their part, the community leaders vowed to sensitize their communities on the long term benefits of conserving the water catchment areas for the current and future generations to come. They will also come up with strategies to improve the livelihoods of their people.

SDENR, Dr. Lesiyampe addressing the Ogiek and Sengwer community leaders in his office

SDENR, Dr. Lesiyampe addressing the Ogiek and Sengwer community leaders in his office

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PS, Dr. Richard Lesyampe addressing the media in his office when he announced the release of the Climate adaptation fund.

PS, Dr. Richard Lesyampe addressing the media in his office when he announced the release of the Climate adaptation fund.

The Climate Adaptation fund has extended a grant of Ksh. 1 billion to Kenya to enable the country adapt to vagaries of climate change. Addressing the media in office, Principal Secretary in the State Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Dr. Richard Lesiyampe revealed that, the grant, that will be disbursed through NEMA to the  various Executing Entities (EE) whose proposals passed the elaborate due diligence process during the approval process of their respective projects.

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DSC_1538The Principal Secretary, State Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Dr Richard Lesiyampe has urged the County Government of Meru and The Agricultural Society of Kenya to form a committee to look into a ten year dispute pitting Meru Golf Club Limited and ASK over 40.47 Hectares of land in Upper Imenti Forest.
Speaking at the Ministry boardroom where he hosted the Governor Meru County, H.E Peter Munya and Mr. Batram Muthoka, Chief Executive Officer, ASK, Kenya Forest Services, Chairman and Director, Mr Peter Kirigua and David Mbugua respectively. He gave the team up to December first to agree on a way forward.
The Governor, H.E Peter Munya expressed dissatisfaction that the matter in court has frozen development in Meru for ten years. He added that both Gitoro Showground and the golf course are a Meru affair, therefore, amicable solution should be sought for development purposes.
The Director, Kenya Forest Service said they issued the license to the golfers on the basis of environmental activities and since only part of the land was being utilized by ASK.
Agricultural Society of Kenya took Meru Golf Club to court in 2004 contesting issuance of license to the Club to construct, manage and operate a golf course on that land. Kenya Forest Service went to court in this case since the land in contention is still a gazetted forest land.
The parties have agreed to solve the issue amicably.

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To further support its member countries in the fight against illegal ivory trafficking and other environmental issues, INTERPOL has established a dedicated team to tackle these crimes in Africa.

Located within the INTERPOL Regional Bureau for East Africa in Nairobi, the environmental crime team will act as an extension of INTERPOL’s Environmental Security unit located at its General Secretariat headquarters in Lyon, France.

 As part of the Regional Bureau, the team will collaborate with national law enforcement agencies and INTERPOL National Central Bureaus (NCBs) in the region to increase information exchange, support intelligence analysis and assist national and regional investigations, with a particular focus on wildlife crime.

 With the illicit trade in ivory and rhinoceros horn a major concern in East Africa, the team will work with countries and partner organizations to further the activities of INTERPOL’s Project Wisdom, which combats elephant and rhinoceros poaching and the illegal trade in ivory through the financial support of the Wildcat Foundation. This includes capacity building initiatives and creating a regional network for environmental protection.

 David Higgins, Head of INTERPOL’s Environmental Security unit, said the establishment of the environmental crime team at the Regional Bureau demonstrates INTERPOL’s dedication to offering the highest level of support to law enforcement in its member countries in disrupting the transnational criminal groups involved not only in wildlife crime, but also other serious forms of crime.

 “This initiative will enable INTERPOL, through its Project Wisdom, to provide continuous investigative and analytical support to East African member countries concerning significant transnational wildlife trafficking cases, and to assist with planning operations targeting the organized criminal networks behind these crimes,” said Mr Higgins.

 INTERPOL announced the establishment of the environmental crime team during an event hosted by the Australian High Commission in Kenya. Australia is a key partner with INTERPOL in activities to prevent and combat wildlife crime throughout Africa.

 “The global fight against illegal trafficking has just been given a significant boost. The new INTERPOL team in Nairobi will mean better intelligence gathering and sharing among the law enforcement community, which is key to shutting down the poachers and smugglers,” said Australian High Commissioner Geoff Tooth.

 Following the announcement on 7 October, INTERPOL, with the support of the UK National Crime Agency and UK High Commission, will host an information exchange and analysis workshop in Nairobi to enhance partnerships and information sharing between law enforcement and the private sector.

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 Ke_DSC5332nya Wildlife Service has urged 32 newly-appointed ambassadors, high commissioners and heads of missions to help Kenya sustain advocacy on total ban on international ivory and rhino horn trade.

 

Ag. Director General William Kiprono asked the diplomats to help in demand reduction campaign on wildlife and wildlife products.

 

Ivory, rhino horns, reptiles, pangolins, and sandal wood are some of the wildlife and wildlife products being poached and trafficked for international black markets.

 

While addressing their induction programme at KWS headquarters on Mondayafternoon(October 6, 2014), Mr Kiprono asked them to use their diplomatic missions to lobby other countries to help reduce the demand for endangered species.

 

Africa range states have faced unprecedented poaching in recent past with 302 elephants and 59 rhino poached in year 2013 in Kenya alone.  Since the beginning of the year, 116 elephants and 26 rhinos to poachers has been lost to poachers.

 

“In the last six months, however, we have turned the corner and the worst is behind us. We hope to keep the poaching cartels on the run and make them face the fullest extent of the law,” he said.

 

He said that the government is fully aware of the magnitude of wildlife crime and has mobilised resources locally and internationally to curb the vice.

Besides poaching, he pointed habitat loss, human wildlife conflict due to growth in human population and climate change as other challenges facing wildlife conservation in the 21st century.

_DSC5330He urged the diplomats to use their missions to encourage international community to invest in conservation areas and assure tourists that Kenya’s national parks and the country are safe destinations.

 

Among the newly appointed diplomats is former Finance Cabinet Minister Robinson Githae, who becomes the new Kenyan ambassador to the United States while Prof. Sam Ongeri heads to UN Habitat. The envoys were appointed in August 2014.

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A man views the two awards which the MEWNR scooped during this year's Nairobi show

A man views the two awards which the MEWNR scooped during this year’s Nairobi show

The Ministry of Environment, Water and Natural Resources emerged the 2nd Best Large Government Stand and the 2nd Best Stand Embracing Information Technology and Communication System during this year’s Nairobi International Show Trade Fair.

The Ministry is show-casing a wide range of services that it renders to the public during the seven day exhibition that runs from September 29th to October 5th, 2014.

Judges being taken round the Ministry stand at the Jamhuri Park

Judges being taken round the Ministry stand at the Jamhuri Park

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