Sunday, December 17, 2017

Secretary Admin, Environment, Mr. William Kiprono, flanked by the Japanese Ambassodor to Kenya, H.E. Toshitsugu Uesawa and an official from the Embassy, opening the meeting at the Crowne Plaza, Nairobil

A high level ministerial meeting of the African Initiative for combating desertification to strengthen resilience to climate change in the Sahel and Horn of Africa region was held in Nairobi to seek solutions to combat desertification.

In a speech read by the Secretary of Administration William Kiprono on behalf of the Cabinet Secretary, Prof. Judi Wakhungu, the meeting was expected to give the African initiative the necessary political support and impetus to enhance its implementation.

Prof. Wakhungu also stated that the issues of Desertification Land Degradation and Drought (DLDD) are important to the region as it is severely affected and resulted in low land productivity and food insecurity. She observed that this has been worsened by extreme weather events due to climate change and which have over the years posed serious negative impacts on the social economic development of the region and its people.

‘We are aware of the ravages of the ongoing drought on the social fabric of many nations in the Horn of Africa which has adversely affected the livelihood of millions of their citizens’, she noted.

Japanese Ambassador to Kenya, H.E. Toshitsugu Uesawa making his remarks during the meeting.

Issues of poverty, water shortage, food scarcity, instability and extreme violence are some of the impacts of desertification and Climate Change. The situation is compounded by the inability of communities to adjust or adopt appropriate adaptive measures to cope with these situations.

The new African Initiative aims to promote measures to combat desertification by countries in the Sahel region. It also supports efforts from development partners through knowledge sharing, networking, improving access to finance and harmonization of ongoing efforts to address the regions desertification challenges.

The Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI) is implementing the initiative through a five year Capacity Development Project for Sustainable Forests with technical cooperation from JICA. The project is implementing activities to support the initiative such as holding regional fora, collecting and sharing lessons learnt and best practices to combat desertification in the region.

Director, MEAs, Mr. Richard Mwendandu addressing the delegates.DSC_0032

The meeting was organized by the Ministry in partnership with JICA and other partners to discuss and chart the way forward for the implementation of the new African initiative. The initiative was launched last August during the TICAD summit meeting, the first ever to be held in Africa.

At the end of the meeting, a ministerial declaration was signed by representatives of all the member countries namely: Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Sudan, Somalia and Kenya to implement the initiative.

A group photo of the delegates attending the conference.

 

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PS State Department for Natural Resources Dr. Margaret Mwakima, speaks to Wananchi at Sabor Forest Station in Kaptagat, Elgeyo Marakwet County during the tree planting exercise dubbed “Operation Okoa Kaptagat Forest”. With PS Mwakima are, PS Dr Chris Kiptoo (left) and PS Dr Dinah Mwinzi.

The Government has in the 2017/2018 Financial Year allocated over 100 million shillings towards the implementation of the Water Towers Protection and Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation (WaTER) Programme.

Speaking at Sabor Forest Station in Kaptagat, Elgeyo Marakwet County during the Tree Plantation Ceremony, Environment and Natural Resources Cabinet Secretary Prof. Judi Wakhungu said the kitty will be used to fast-track the realization of the WaTER project, whose implementation aims to curb poverty, enhance resilience and improve the quality and quantity of ecosystem services.

In a speech read on her behalf by State Department of Natural Resources Principal Secretary Dr. Margaret Mwakima, Prof. Wakhungu said the activities arising from the programme are projected to enhance ecosystem management, rehabilitation and restoration of the landscapes through tree growing.

“The objective of the programme, which runs up to 2020, is to eradicate poverty through enhancing the productivity of Kenya’s critical ecosystems and enhance resilience to climate change and to improve the quality and quantity of ecosystem services,” underscored the Cabinet Secretary.

She said the programme will cover the Cherangany and the Mt. Elgon Water Towers which traverse eleven counties in the region, including Elgeyo Marakwet County.

The Cabinet Secretary further said the project will also support harmonized planning processes within Counties and development of County landscape management opportunities as well as promotion of green growth practices.

During the event, the Ministry in partnership with other government agencies planted over 7,000 trees.

Speaking at the same event, Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich announced that the National government is working closely with the private sector to increase forest coverage by supporting plantation of more trees across the country.

Mr. Rotich said that despite the immense importance of forests, the resource continues to experience massive pressure caused by demand for expansion of agricultural land, grazing grounds, human settlements, illegal logging, and infrastructural development.

He said projected impacts of unmitigated climate change have negatively affected human livelihoods, health, water resources, agricultural production and food security.

Mr. Rotich pointed out that immense tree growing will provide opportunities for mitigation against the effects of climate change.

He applauded the role played by Community Forest Associations, saying the initiative to form such groups has enormously supported forest conservation and management efforts as well enabling the associations to derive incomes from activities such as seedlings production and commercial tree growing on their farms.

Mr. Rotich called on all Kenyans to intensify tree growing in order to mitigate against the adverse effects of climate change, increased production of forestry goods and services and the beautification of our landscapes.

Kaptagat forest is valuable and a critical water catchment area, biodiversity and carbon reservoir alongside habitat for wildlife.

It is also an important source of livelihood for community members who derive from it employment, fuel wood, honey, building materials, medicinal herbs among other important products and services.

The rivers that originate from the forests in the region are key sources of water for Lake Victoria and Lake Turkana basins.

Accompanying them were senior government officials including State Department of Technical and Vocational Training PS Dr. Dinah Mwinzi, Water PS Prof. Fred Sigor and his Trade and Industrialization Counterpart Dr. Chris Kiptoo.

PS Dr Margaret Mwakima and PS Dr Dinah Mwinzi both (center), with locals for a traditional jig at Kaptagat

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PS, Environment, Mr. Charles Sunkuli, flanked by the Environment Secretary. Dr. Alice Kaudia and the Director of Programmes, Ms. Agnes Yobteric, addressing the 18th. SECOM meeting in Mwanza, Tanzania

The principal Secretary for Environment Mr. Charles Sunkuli, has called upon the East African Community Council of ministers to influence the partner states to allocate funds to construct a headquarters for lake Victoria basin Commission (LVBC).

He said that Lake Victoria was the lifeline of East African Community upon which millions depended on and that it was imperative for member states to set aside money to strengthen institutions that helped generate economic activities around the water body.

Mr. Sunkuli was addressing the 18th meeting of the Sectoral council of ministers for the Lake Victoria basin held in Mwanza, Tanzania yesterday. He represented the cabinet Secretary for Environment and Natural Resources Prof. Judi Wakhungu.

He noted that the lake basin commission had positively impacted on the more than 40 million residents whose livelihoods depended on activities revolving around environment, water resources, maritime among many others.

The 18th SECOM meeting in progress at the Malaikia Beach Resort, Mwanza, Tanzania.

Kenya he said had already donated a plot for the construction of LVBC in Kisumu and was awaiting the partner states to take advantage of the country’s goodwill to build offices adding that the organisation played a critical role to coordinate economic activities that uplifted the standards of living for the community.

The council of Ministers recommended to the partner states to implement a raft of projects and programs that included environment, water and sanitation, maritime transport and communication, health and population, protected areas and ecosystems, Mara River among others.

The Kenyan delegation to the Sectoral Council of Ministers meeting was headed by Mr. Sunkuli and included Principal Secretaries of Water Prof. Fred Segor, East African Community Integration Betty Maina and , senior government officials,

 

 

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PS, Env. Charles Sunkuli with Ministers from EAC partner states of Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda & Tanzania, during the signing of the policy document at the Malaika hotel, Mwanza, TZ.

The 18th Sectoral Council of Ministers for the lake Victoria Basin, have adopted the Policy document, that will provide policy guideline to the Commission up to the year 2021.

The guidelines, which are anchored on a programmatic approach in line with the Lake Victoria Basin Commission’s Result Based Management Systems, emphasizes management by results.

Speaking during the signing of the pact, that was held at the Malaika Beach Resort in Mwanza, Tanzania, the Chairperson of the Sectoral Council of Ministers for the Lake Victoria Basin, Hon Sam Cheptoris (MP), Minister for Water and Environment, Republic of Uganda, observed that, LVBC was still in its infancy, especially compared to other river basin organizations across the world, and noted that, despite this, and in the face of a complicated geopolitical context, it is already achieving tangible results. Hon. Cheptoris observed that, despite the tangible results that have led to the current progress, the advances in putting investments on the ground to lift the basin’s population from poverty to a middle-income population, has not been linear throughout the basin, as Partner States in the Basin still face poverty, rapid population growth, and environmental degradation, together with climate change impacts.

Minister’s from the EAC partner states are joined by leaders of their delegations to the LVBC after joining the policy document.

The Policy document will act as a guiding tool for implementation of the LVBC strategic interventions, and will focus on key priority areas, that will include:- enhancing Environmental and Natural Resources Management, promote and facilitate the implementation of the Integrated Water Resource management and Development, enhance maritime transport safety and security on Lake Victoria, promote Social Development Initiatives on LVB and Strengthen Institutional and Coordination Capacity of the Basin.

The Principal Secretary in the State Department of Environment, Mr. Charles Sunkuli, who represented Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Natural Resources, Prof. Judi Wakhungu, joined Hon. Minister’s and Cabinet Secretaries from the East Africa Community partner states, who included Hon. Aggrey Henry Bagiire, Minister of State for Transport in Uganda, Hon. Celestine Ndayizeye, Minister for Water, Environment, Land and Urban Planning, in Burundi, Hon. Dr. Vincent Biruta, Minister for Natural Resources in Rwanda, and Dr. Charles J. Tizebe, MP, Minister for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, United Republic of Tanzania, in signing the policy document.

Uganda takes over chairmanship of LVBC- The Executive sec. of the LVBC, Dr. Alley Matano, looks on as Uganda’s Water & Env. Min. Hon. Sam Cheptoris (blue suit) takes over from TZ’s Water Min. Hon. Gerson Lwenge TZ’s

 

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First Lady Hon. Margaret Kenyatta signs visitors book at KFS Headquarters, Karura during the tree growing and Forest Conservation awards ceremony for 2017. From the back are CS Prof. Judi Wakhungu (right), PS Dr Margaret Mwakima (left) and KFS Chief Conservator Mr Emilio Mugo.

First Lady Margaret Kenyatta has called on the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) to involve women and the youth in forestry development programmes saying their participation in the sector will spur investment in the forest sector.

Speaking at KFS Headquarters in Karura, Kiambu County during the Tree Growing and Forest Conservation Awards Ceremony, the First Lady said including women and the youth in such projects would also enable them to benefit from forestry development programmes.

She commended the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources for rolling out a programme that permits forest adjacent communities to generate income and food farm on forest land.

The First Lady lauded the initiative, adding that it has improved access of forest adjacent communities to basic amenities among them quality food, clean water and health facilities which makes their life bearable.

She challenged KFS to ensure that forestry programmes create meaningful impacts on food, security, incomes and human wellbeing at the house hold level.

The First Lady said the development of any nation could only be achieved if women, children and the youth have access to opportunities to develop their talents and capabilities.

Speaking at the same event, Environment and Natural Resources Cabinet Secretary Prof. Judi Wakhungu said awarding Tree growers and Forest Conservation heroes drawn from 47 Counties across the country clearly demonstrates an appreciation of the great role individual tree growers, pastoralists, forest adjacent communities and community organizations alongside other state agencies play in enhancing the Country’s forest cover.

Prof. Wakhungu said adequate tree cover is critical for stabilizing climates for agriculture and livestock production, regulating water flows in catchment areas, absorbing carbon dioxide and mitigating against natural disasters such as floods, landslides and negative impacts of climate change.

She said the Ministry through KFS is deploying communities across the country in production of   high quality tree seedlings appropriate for conservation, hence contributing to the improvement of peoples livelihood and incomes in the rural and urban areas

The Cabinet Secretary further pointed out that her Ministry is committed to spearhead the rehabilitation of 5.1 million hectares of land which have been mapped out through a comprehensive process that has identified different parts of the country that are available for rehabilitation.

“These include Arid and Semi-arid lands which forms about 80 per cent of our country. Other areas that have been mapped out include roadsides, railway reserves, county parks, hilltops, among other areas,” Prof. Wakhungu said.

First Lady Hon Margaret Kenyatta presents an award to one of the winners at the tree growing and forest conservation awards ceremony at KFS Headquarters, Karura.
presents an award to one of

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The CS Prof. Judi Wakhungu cuts a ceremonial cake to mark KEFRI’S 30 years anniversary and ISO certification celebrations, at KEFRI headquarters, Muguga. From left is PS Margaret Mwakima who accompanied the CS for the anniversary.

The Government has commended Kenya Forest Research Institute (KEFRI) for its crucial contribution towards the attainment of the Country’s 10 percent forest cover as enshrined in the Constitution 2010 and Vision 2030.

Environment and Natural Resources Cabinet Secretary Prof. Judi Wakhungu said the Institution has played a crucial role in developing technologies that have been used for sustainable forest development in the country, geared towards a 10 percent forest cover target.

Prof. Wakhungu said the technologies have further been used to address emerging challenges of climate change resilience and poverty alleviation initiatives not only in Kenya but across the region.

Speaking at KEFRI Headquarters in Kiambu County during the commemoration of the Institution’s 30 Years Anniversary and ISO Certification, Wakhungu said KEFRI has put up adequate facilities at regional centres alongside systems of collaboration with both local and international organizations in order to share research experiences and jointly tackle new emerging challenges such as climate change and biodiversity conservation.

The Cabinet Secretary said her Ministry will continue to support the Institution to ensure that forestry programmes across the 47 Counties use KEFRI’s significant research achievements to increase tree cover and improve the livelihoods of present and future generations.

She also said the Ministry has over the years supported KEFRI in its strategic planning, which entails interpretation of relevant government Policies and Legislations among them the Constitution of Kenya 2010, MTP I and II of Vision 2030 and the National Forest Programme.

The Kenya Research Forest Institute KEFRI has undertaken research programmes and projects that have generated technologies in the fields of forest management, utilization, rehabilitation, conservation and preservations of forests and allied resources that have guided various stakeholders in the forest sector to sustainably use forests and allied resources for improved livelihoods.

The Cabinet Secretary challenged the Institution to implement the two ISOs for improved service delivery and performance to customers and the public.

The two ISOs are 14001 and 9001, which focuses on Environmental Management System.

Accompanying Prof. Wakhungu were State Department of Natural Resources Principal Secretary Dr. Margaret Mwakima, Chief Conservator Emilio Mugo and KEFRI Director Dr. Ben Chikamai among others.

The Principal Secretary Dr Margaret Mwakima welcomes CS Prof Judi Wakhungu at KEFRI, for the 30th anniversary for the institution.

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Conference Objectives

The overall objective of the workshop is to create an understanding regarding weather and climate extremes with emphasis on the issues related to the causes, monitoring and manifestations of extreme weather and climate and their implications to our social and economic fabric….read more

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ROLL- PS’s from the East African states that form the Lake Victoria Basin during the signing ceremony of the policy report that will guide the operations of th LVBC in Mwanza, Tanzania.

The 18th Sectoral Council of Ministers for the lake Victoria Basin kicked off in Mwanza Tanzania with Principal and Permanent Secretaries from East Africa Community (EAC) member’s states endorsing diverse projects affecting millions of residents in the region.

The Principal Secretary for Environment Mr. Charles Sunkuli  chaired yesterday  the Kenya delegation evaluation  meeting, attended by Prof. Fred Sigor Principal Secretary for Water and M/s Betty Maina Principal Secretary for East Africa Community Integration at the Malaika Beach Hotel.

The Kenyan delegation comprising various senior government officials and professionals in assorted fields endorsed projects and programs implemented in the country and jointly financed by the World Bank, donors and the government through the Lake Victoria basin Commission (LVBC).

The PS’s evaluated their various country programs and projects under Finance and Administration for onward transmission to the Council of Ministers who if in agreement would present them to the EAC Summit comprising the regions heads of state for concurrence.

Delegations from United Republic of Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi all negotiated for their respective country programs and projects that are at various stages of implementation.

It is a common practice for EAC partner states to regularly evaluate and negotiate funding of the projects and programmes implemented under the Lake Victoria Basin Commission.

The more than 40 million residents of Lake Victoria basin expect to improve their livelihoods from a myriad activities initiated to make the region an economic hub for growth in East Africa.

The Kenyan delegation evaluated projects and programs regarding environmental management, water and sanitation, health and population. Others include management of ecosystems and transboundary natural resources, maritime transport and communication for safety, integrated water resources management, pipelines among others.

The Sectoral Council of Ministers that directs actions for the Commission is expected to hold a meeting Friday 23rd June to adopt the recommendations of the principal and permanent secretaries.

A group photo of the Kenyan delegation to the 18th. SECOM meeting in Mwanza, TZ.

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Official opening of the (KEFRI LAMU RESOURCE CENTRE) by Cabinet Secretary, Prof. Judi Wakhungu at Mukowe, in Lamu County.

The Government has unveiled a Resource Centre in Lamu County in a bid to alleviate the existing environmental challenges arising from forest degradation, inadequate wood biomass, and destruction of watershed ecosystems.

While launching the project at Mukowe in Lamu County, Environment and Natural Resources Cabinet Secretary Prof. Judi Wakhungu said the project will play a key role in providing appropriate technologies and advisory services to rehabilitation, forestry development and environmental management against degradation.

“The Lamu Research Sub Centre and Farmers Resource Centre which am opening today is one of the sub centers of Coast Eco-region research Programme to provide devolved forestry and development services to the Coast Counties of Lamu and Tana River and will play a Key role in providing appropriate technologies and advisory services to rehabilitation, forestry development and environmental management against degradation,” said Prof. Wakhungu.

She said the national research agenda of Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI) is tasked to address the challenges through five thematic programmes derived from the National Forest Programme (NFP) and implemented in six stratified National Eco-region based research programmes.

They are the Coast Eco-region Research Programme (CERP), which covers the six Counties including Kwale, Mombasa, Taita Taveta, Kilifi, Tana-River alongside Lamu and which seeks to address pertinent issues in forestry and allied natural resources.

Prof. Wakhungu said the forest sector plays a crucial role in the country’s economy, thus being a key pillar in mitigating climate change that has become an issue of global concern through carbon sequestration, provision of products and ecosystem services.

The resource has modern facilities including the farmer’s resource centre and the hostel for use in enhancing forestry development and livelihoods.

The newly constructed KEFRI LAMU RESOURCE CENTER at Mukowe, Lamu County

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CS, Prof. Judi Wakhungu flagging off the World Day to Combat Desertification procession at HulaHula in Marsabit County.

This year’s World Day to Combat Desertification (WDCD), was marked at Hulahula Primary School, in Saku Sub-County of Marsabit County, in a ceremony that was officiated by the Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Prof. Judi Wakhungu..

Speaking during the commemoration, whose theme was Conserving Our Land for Sustainable Livelihoods, and the slogan “Our Land – Our Home – Our Future”, Prof. Wakhungu observed that, the World Day to Combat Desertification is observed on 17th June each year, as provided for under the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) which Kenya ratified in 1997, to promote public awareness relating to the international cooperation to combat desertification and the effects of drought.

CS, Prof. Judi Wakhungu, assisted by Miss Environment, Kenya, Debra Omondi, lauching the National Action Programme to Combat Desertification at Marsabit.

Noting that Marsabit County was a  largely an arid/semi-arid part of the country, and experiences food insecurity and poverty due to persistent drought and inadequate adaptation strategies, Prof. Wakhungu said, her Ministry  had put in place several policy frameworks to guide sound environmental management, including  the Environmental and wetlands policies, among others. The policies, Prof. Wakhungu noted, have incorporated emerging environmental issues and proposes measures to address them.

During the celebrations, that were also attended by the Chair of the NEMA  Board, Mr. John Konchella, Director General Prof. Geoffrey Wahungu and  Kenya’s deputy representative, Kenya Mission to UNEP, Amb. Anne Wanjohi, among others, Prof. Wakhungu launched the rehabilitation of a big gulley in Hulahula and the National Action Programme to Combat Desertification for Kenya 2015-2025.

CS, Prof. Judi Wakhungu lauching the rehabilitation of gurley erosion at HulaHula, MarsabitDSC_0037

 

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Statement from the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources

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