Tuesday, December 11, 2018
The CS Prof. Judi Wakhungu (front Centre), with PS Dr. Margaret Mwakima (right) and other conference attendants in a group photo during the launch of Space Technology and Application for Wildlife Management and Protecting Biodiversity, at UNEP Hqts Gigiri on27thJune 2016

The CS Prof. Judi Wakhungu (front Centre), with PS Dr. Margaret Mwakima (right) and other conference attendants in a group photo during the launch of Space Technology and Application for Wildlife Management and Protecting Biodiversity, at UNEP Hqts Gigiri on27thJune 2016

The historic conference on Space Technology and Applications for Wildlife Management and protecting Biodiversity has been launched. The conference and the first one of its kind, was opened by the Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Prof. Judi Wakhungu, accompanied by her Principal Secretary Dr. Margaret Mwakima, on 27th June 2016 at UNEP, headquarters Gigiri.

The agenda for the conference was to compliment and support the implementation of the UNEA 2 outcomes and resolutions on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Natural capital and illegal Wildlife Trade.

The Principal Secretary Dr Margaret Mwakima (left) listen carefully to proceedings at the Forum of Space Technology and Applications for Wildlife Managent and Protecting Biodiversity at UNEP,Hqtrs, Gigiri.

The Principal Secretary Dr Margaret Mwakima (left) listen carefully to proceedings at the Forum of Space Technology and Applications for Wildlife Managent and Protecting Biodiversity at UNEP,Hqtrs, Gigiri.

During the launch, Prof. Wakhungu said that wildlife and biodiversity is a critical national capital and cultural heritage with an increasing economic and social importance for rural communities.  This, she said, is a threat that is pushing for the extinction of these assets.

The CS Prof. Judi Wakhungu addressing the Forum at the UNEP Headquarters during her launch of Space Technology and Applications for Wildlife Management and Protecting Biodiversity.

The CS Prof. Judi Wakhungu addressing the Forum at the UNEP Headquarters during her launch of Space Technology and Applications for Wildlife Management and Protecting Biodiversity.

Wakhungu noted that poaching and illicit trafficking of wildlife are the growing challenges with African continent being affected as compared to international community. Poaching and illegal wildlife trafficking is also a threat to biodiversity and human peace and security, she added.

Prof said that concerted efforts must be implemented in dealing with this challenge. She said that Space Applications are the only fundamental tools for enhancing wildlife and biodiversity conservation which can in turn bring about sustainable development throughout the world.

The Minister urged the forum to consider  how space solutions can concretely contribute to the target set out in SDG 15 i.e “Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, manage forests, combat desertification , halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.

She also said that contributions of Space-Based Technologies and Applications are well recognized especially in protecting nature and biodiversity in periods of climate change, population expansion and during increased levels of wildlife crime.

The conference therefore is an important initiative to increase biodiversity conservation effectiveness through enhanced integration of remote sensing technologies in research and applications.

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Environment PS Mr. Charles Sunkuli (Center) flanked by Sabita Thapa DFID Climate Advisor (Left) and Eng. Jura Omedi of Climate Change Directorate

Environment PS Mr. Charles Sunkuli (Center) flanked by Sabita Thapa DFID Climate Advisor (Left) and Eng. Jura Omedi of Climate Change Directorate

The Principal Secretary in the State Department of Environment Mr. Charles Sunkuli has said there is need for development partners to support capacity building in specialized areas like climate change, if Kenya is to achieve progress in fighting the adversities that comes with climate change.

He spoke as he received representatives of Department of International Development (DFID) who paid him a courtesy call and updated him on programmes under them that needs streamlining.  The PS lauded DFID for the role they’ve played over the years to strengthen the country’s resilience to climate change and assured them of the government’s continued commitment and support.

On their part the Department of International Development (DFID) Climate Advisor Sabata Thapa said Kenya is doing well in terms of addressing climate change issues. She cited the Climate Change Act, National Climate Change Response Strategy and Action Plan that country can use to seek for climate change financing in a streamlined way.

The meeting which was attended by among others Eng. Jura Omedi of Climate Change Directorate and Elizabeth Mwihaki of DFID agreed that climate change coordination be revived and strengthened with updated terms of reference.

 

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The Cabinet Secretary Prof. Wakhungu (right), Kenya Forestry Services Director Emilio Mugo and the German representative, during the signing of the joint Declaration of intent at Panafric Hotel, Nairobi, on 27th June 2016.

The Cabinet Secretary Prof. Wakhungu (right), Kenya Forestry Services Director Emilio Mugo and the German representative, during the signing of the joint Declaration of intent at Panafric Hotel, Nairobi, on 27th June 2016.

The ministry of Environment and Natural Resources has officially signed a joint declaration of intent with the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture on the co-operation in the field of Forestry.

The Cabinet Secretary Prof. Judi Wakhungu who presided over the signing at Hotel Panafric on 27th June 2016 said that the joint declaration of intent is a beginning of partnership in the forestry sector in support to sustainable Private Forest Development in Kenya. She said that this is a venture between Federal Ministry for Food and Agriculture (BMEL) and Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources in Kenya,

This was a landmark ceremony which also aims at strengthening ties of the two countries for sustaining development and management of natural resources.

CS said that Kenya’s forests both in protected areas, community lands, private land holdings, in urban settings, and coastal ecosystems, play a big role in supplying forest goods and also supporting people’s livelihoods as they also regulate weather and climate.

“The co-operation therefore is targeting the improvement of some segments of forestry development in helping Kenya to produce wood for use by households and for industrial development” CS remarked. Wakhungu also said that the resources which will be availed under the co-operation will create a difference on how private forests are currently managed in pilot areas of Nyandarua and Kericho counties. The changes will only be supported through policy and legal frameworks like Forest Policy and Forest Act 2005 together with Forest Conservation Bill 2016which is before the national assembly.

As part of the ministry’s efforts, the CS added, there will be gazzetement rules for registration of private forests in looking for ways and means of providing targeted support for development of private forests.

Present during the gathering of the signing of the co-operation of the intent were, Director Kenya Forestry Services, representatives from the national Government level and the ministry, County Forestry Representatives of Nyandarua and Kericho Counties, among others.

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The Cabinet Secretary Prof. Judi Wakhungu, in a group photo with the attendants of the 4th Annual East African Timber Trade Forum at Hotel Panafric, Nairobi on 27th June, 2016.

The Cabinet Secretary Prof. Judi Wakhungu, in a group photo with the attendants of the 4th Annual East African Timber Trade Forum at Hotel Panafric, Nairobi on 27th June, 2016.

The Cabinet Secretary Prof. Judi Wakhungu has said that poor forestry resource governance, weak laws and policies, corruption and clientilism are the implications for loss and degradation of the continent’s forests. Opening the session of 4th Annual East Africa Timber Trade Forum at Panafric Hotel on 27th June 2016, Wakhungu said that forests continually get exploited by those bordering on governance and increasing global demand for forest products.

She said that people have forgotten the importance of forests which supports community livelihoods and household needs and being sources of foods, fruits, construction materials, source of pasture during dry season and also source of spiritual inspiration in cases of indigenous shrines.

CS lauded the East African Community (EAC) Partner state for enacting forest-specific laws and forest management-institutions for forest law enforcement and governance on sustainable development discourse within East African Community. Despite these legal instruments, there still remain challenges and uncertainty on the extent to which poor forest law compliance and weak governance are affecting local livelihoods and national economies in the EAC and SADC.

Wakhungu said that stakeholders should develop tools, procedures and mechanisms that will allow better management and monitoring trade on forest produce and revenue collection in minimizing losses and negative impacts to deforestation.

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