Sunday, December 17, 2017

PS Environment Mr. Charles Sunkuli chairs a meeting between the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources representatives of the Embassy of Japan in Kenya at his office. The two teams agreed to fast track the construction of a medical waste disposal plant in Nairobi with the assistance of the Government of Japan. The Japan Embassy team was led by Mr. Yoshihiro Katayama, (on PS’s right). He is the deputy chief of mission at the Embassy. The Kenyan team comprised Mr. Richard Mwendandu the director of Multi-lateral Environment Agreements,Chief Finance Officer Pauline Luganje and Jeremiah Munayi, Under-Secretary

PS Environment Mr. Charles Sunkuli when he chaired a meeting between the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources with officials  the Embassy of Japan in Kenya. The two teams agreed to fast track the construction of a medical waste plant in Nairobi with the assistance of the Government of Japan. The Japan Embassy team was led by Mr. Yoshihiro Katayama, (on PS’s right). He is the deputy chief of mission at the Embassy. The Kenyan team comprised Mr. Richard Mwendandu the director Multi-lateral Environment Agreements,Chief Finance Officer Pauline Luganje and Jeremiah Munayi, Under-Secretary.

 

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Cs Prof. Wakhungu receiving equipment on behalf of the Kenya wildlife service. The equipment was donated by WWF to help in the fight against poaching.

The Environment and Natural Resources Cabinet Secretary Prof. Judi Wakhungu has asked Kenyans to support the Government’s effort towards Wildlife conservation.

Prof. Wakhungu said their backing would supplement the government’s plan to minimize threats posed to the country’s wildlife population.

Speaking at Nanyuki Municipal Stadium in Laikipia County during the commemoration of  World Rhino Day, the Cabinet Secretary pointed out that  her Ministry through Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), the County Government, Conservation Agencies, Private and Community Sanctuaries have been working together to minimize threats posed to Kenya’s rhino population.

She said the collaboration has resulted in recovery and protection of the population, with figures indicating that Kenya currently holds  the third largest population of rhinos, which  now stands at 1,149 as at end of 2016, after South Africa and Namibia.

The Cabinet Secretary further announced that Kenya has completed developing the 6th edition of the 5 year Kenya Black Rhino Action Plan (2017-2021), which is to be launched later in the year.

“The vision is to conserve at least 2,000 black rhinos of the Eastern African subspecies, while the overall goal for the next five years is to achieve a meta-population of 830 black rhinos by the end of 2021”, Prof Wakhungu said.

She reiterated that the Action Plan follows the worst period in rhino conservation in the recent past which reported rhino poaching of 5,703 black and white rhinos in Africa between 2012 and 2016, adding that over the last three years, poaching has declined arising from a commendable effort by the Government of Kenya in partnership with its local and international stakeholders.

Prof. Wakhungu additionally urged the Kenya Wildlife Services to intensify resolution of human-wildlife conflicts by supporting the construction of wildlife-proof barriers such as the Rumuruti forest, West Laikipia fence alongside prompting the national government to fast- track payment of wildlife compensation claims.

She noted that such events provide a good platform to reach out to the wider public on the plight of the rhinoceros which is mainly poached for its horn hence the need for all to join hands to conserve them for posterity.

The World Rhino Day celebrates all five remaining species of rhino: Black, white, greater one-horned, Sumatran and Javan rhinos.

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Environment and Natural Resources Cabinet Secretary Prof.Judi Wakhungu has called on African nations to shorten the time frame required for ecosystem rehabilitation in order to avert the escalating land degradation in the continent.

Prof Wakhungu said the move will further accelerate sharing of existing natural resources, good practices and technologies to improve our people’s livelihood.

Speaking at the Kenya Forest Research Institute headquarters (Kefri) in Kiambu County during the official opening of the First Regional Technical Training Workshop on collection, documentation and sharing of good practices for combating desertification in the horn of Africa, the Cabinet Secretary said that by working closely, Africa can successfully address challenges brought by climate change and desertification mainly through sharing of information and knowledge.

“Therefore to mitigate casual factors of desertification particularly those related to human practices, we need to adopt good practices through acquiring adequate information and knowledge,” she explained.

The CS noted that through results oriented research and development, the world now has practical measures to prevent and restore degraded land through activities such as prevention of soil erosion, water resource management, sustainable forest and livestock management, afforestation and reforestation as well as adoption of tree and crop varieties with capacity to tolerate drought.

She further said the sector faces challenges of forest degradation, lack of enough wood biomass and destruction of watershed ecosystems brought about by the ever increasing agricultural activities, population and climatic change requiring collective responsibility.

“In this regard a developed framework to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals will ensure improvement of the living standards of affected populations and enhancing ecosystem services”.  Prof Wakhungu further said, adding that as managers of the environment therefore we are collectively and individually tasked to identify factors that are currently contributing to the rapid desertification and in turn develop practical measures necessary to combat desertification and mitigate effects of drought and climate change.

The Cabinet Secretary outlined Voluntary Targets as among a key strategy meant to address these challenges visa-vi Land Degradation Neutrality in accordance with country’s circumstances and development priorities.

She said the workshop is important as it gives participants an exceptional opportunity to enhance their capacity to identify, document and widely share good practices for combating desertification in Africa in order to make our countries and communities more resilient to climate change.

The workshop brought together participants from seven Countries of the horn of Africa among them Djibouti, Eritrea, Somalia, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Sudan.

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CS Prof. Judi Wakhungu holds a water bottle when she declared Karura Forest Plastic free she is flanked by Prof. Karanja Njoroge (in glasses), Winnie Kiiru & KFS Chief Conservator Mr. Emilio Mugo

The government is working towards plastics free protected areas to include national forests and parks, Environment Cabinet Secretary Prof. Judi Wakhungu has said.

She confirmed that the recent ban on plastic carrier bags in the country was successful and attributed it to positive behavior change among Kenyans who were now using eco-friendly alternatives.

She appealed to Kenyans to promote clean, healthy and safe environment that was habitable and attractive to investors in a bid to achieve better economic development.

Prof. Wakhungu was speaking today when she launched a cleanup exercise dubbed “a plastic free Karura forest” an initiative of the friends of Karura forest association.

The initiative aims at eliminating all forms of plastics in the forest especially plastic bottles that are a common feature among campers and picnic goers. It is now mandatory for all people visiting Karura forest either for picnics or leisure walk to declare any plastics they might be carrying upon entering the premises.

She said that a countrywide clean-up exercise initiated by the National government through the National Environment Management Authority targeting protected areas, towns and villages had yielded positive results.

The cabinet Secretary further observed that the ban on plastic carrier bags had boosted cottage industries with women and the youth securing better markets for their eco-friendly alternative products. These include hand woven baskets and bags.

Prof. Wakhungu who was accompanied by the Chief Conservator of Forests Mr. Emilio Mugo said that the public would soon be sensitized on the need for phasing out and recycling single use plastic bottles that were a menace in public places and especially picnic sites.

 

The chairman of the friends of karura forest association prof. Karanja Njoroge thanked the government for recently revoking 400  title deeds that had been issued in respect of land in the conservation area.

CS Prof. Judi Wakhungu looks at a sign at Karura Forest when she declared it as Plastic free zone

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Heavy rainfall of more than 30mm in 24hrs is expected over various parts of Coastal Kenya. These rains may start from thesouthern coast on Tuesday 19th  September 2017 and spread out into the northern coast by Wednesday, 20th September 2017 and may continue to Thursday 21st September 2017. The rains are likely to cause flooding in low lying areas near the coastline, in riverlines, areas near dams and other water repositories. The Flooding situation may worsen in some parts…….Read more

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Kenyan delegates to COP 13 following the clossing session at Ordos, Inner Mongolia, China.

The Thirteenth Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD COP 13) came to a close on Friday, 16th 2017, with the COP 13  President, Mr. Zhang Jianlong, Minister of State Forestry Administration, China, calling on the youth to take action in combating desertification.

Addressing the more than 2,000 delegates from 196 member Countries of the UNCCD during the closing session, Mr. Zhang Jianlong  noted that, Countries  had agreed on a new global roadmap to address land degradation, and that, the  new UNCCD 2018-2030 Strategic Framework, that was agreed during the conference was the most comprehensive global commitment to achieve Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN). The president observed that, the strategic plan will help in restoring the productivity of vast swathes of degraded land, improve the livelihoods of more than 1.3 billion people, and  reduce the impacts of drought on vulnerable populations.

Mr.  Zhang reiterated that, the Conference had witnessed the birth of the first global private sector fund, that is dedicated to implementing the Sustainable Development Goals. Known as the Land Degradation Neutrality Fund (LDN Fund), it will be a source of transformative capital, bringing together public and private investors to fund projects to restore degraded lands, which will come with environment, economic and social benefits.

With an initial target of $300 million fund capital, the LDN Fund, Mr. Zhang noted, will be co-promoted by Mirova, an affiliate of Natixis Global Asset Management, that is dedicated to investment, and the Global Mechanism of the UNCCD. A separately-operated Technical Assistance Facility (TAF) will advise the Fund on the development of promising sustainable land use activities in order to build a strong portfolio of projects, he said.

The Global Land Outlook, a new landmark publication, the President noted, was also unveiled at the Conference, and will spotlight the urgency for swift action. The publication had reported during its inauguration that, 20 percent of the world’s land had become degraded in the last two decades.

To reaffirm the progress made at the summit, the president observed that, more than 80 Ministers from around the world, had issued the Ordos Declaration , urging countries to step up efforts on all fronts to tackle desertification, which is one of the planet’s most pressing global challenges . The Ordos Declaration reaffirms the contribution of ecological services to food security, private sector, civil society and youth. It also recognizes the importance of addressing climate change, protecting biodiversity and addressing food security,  said  Mr. Jianlong Zhang in Ordos, China, when he closed the Conference. He noted that, the Convention will pay attention to regional hotspots and intensify cooperation.

Speaking during the closing session, the UNCCD Executive Secretary, Monique Barbut observed that, the Conference had taken action to address three new and emerging issues linked to increasing land degradation: – drought, sand and dust storms and migration, saying that, sand and dust storms threaten the health of millions of people across the globe, and is a major concern in China, where the Conference took place.

Chao and Bon Voyage_- The Executive Secretary of the UNCCD. Monique Barbut, bids delegates to COP 3 in Ordos, China, Kwaheri, during the clossing ceremony.

 

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Kenya’s Richard Mwendandu,(L) handing over the chairmanship of African group to Mr. Jean Ilunga Muneng, from DRC at Ordos, China

Kenya, who has been the chair of the African region group to the  Thirteenth Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD COP 13), has called on  African countries to strive to safeguard their unity.

Speaking when he handed over the chairmanship of the African region group to Democratic Republic of Congo’s Mr. Jean Ilunga Muneng in Ordos, Inner Mongolia, China,  Mr. Richard Mwendandu, the out-going chair of the African group of negotiators, noted that, for the two year’s he has been at the helm of the regional group, a lot had been achieved, observing that, 47 African countries are already in the process of finalizing their LDN Targets while 30 have so far endorsed their targets.

Mr. Mwendandu, who is also the Director of Multilateral Environmental Agreements in the State Department of Environment, cited the Africa dry land week that was co-hosted by Namibia and the African Union Commission, the CRIC, and the African Region Preparatory meeting to COP 13, both held in Nairobi, as some of the other success stories.

Congratulating the in-coming chair, Mr. Mwendandu cited some of the key issues ahead, including moving the LDN targets to actions on the ground through transformative projects, resource mobilization initiatives and sharing experiences; following up on the drought issues, especially after the COP 13 decisions; ensuring that countries are well supported to build capacities to enhance reporting in the region and the hosting of the African Ministerial Conference on Environment (AMCEN).

Mr. Mwendandu, the out-going chair of the African group briefing the in-coming chair, Mr. Ilunga Muneng, from the DRC

 

 

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Nema Board Chairman John Konchellah (right) and Director-General Geoffrey Wahungu (left) display some of the eco-friendly carrier bags that will be in use after the ban on plastic bags. The New York Times has urged the rest of the world to also ban the use of plastics

TheNew York Times has praised Kenya’s ban on plastic bags and urged the rest of the world to take a similar action.

Such an initiative will contribute greatly to efforts to protect the planet’s oceans while helping prevent flooding caused by clogged storm drains, the Times said in an editorial titled “Follow Kenya’s Lead on Plastic Bags”..…….Read more

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14.09.2017

Solar panels in a demonstration farm in Kubuqi desert, Ordos, Inner Mongolia, China20170910_053656

Tackling desertification and harnessing the economic opportunities from renewable energy, desert tourism and other sustainable development projects in dry lands, are some of the focus from the on-going UNCCD COP 13 Conference on Desertification in Ordos, Inner Mongolia, China.

Desertification continues to be an important challenge for the World, but investments by government and the private sector, have led to some major successes, including the reversal of desertification trends in some regions, as there are major economic opportunities in a desert green economy.

By investing in natural capital, ecological restoration projects and clean technologies, businesses can tap into new markets in desert tourism, renewable energy and other sectors. When managed sustainably, such actions can stem the tide of desertification, and support healthy, productive ecosystems in the world’s dry lands.

According to experts, Solar energy is a completely renewable resource which means that, even when we cannot make use of the sun’s power because of night time or cloudy and stormy days, we can always rely on the sun showing up the very next day as a constant and consistent power source. The initial cost of solar panels and solar lighting may seem quite but in the long run, it saves quite a great deal of money. It does not cost anything to harness the power of the sun. Harnessing sun’s energy is absolutely free, and the Solar energy creates absolutely no pollution, the solar cells are totally silent and non-polluting, very little maintenance is required to keep solar cells running and there are no moving parts in a solar cell so, they require little or no maintenance at all, and have a long lifetime.

During the13th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), the first report to specifically assess wealth created by desert restoration was released. The report “Eco-Restoration and Wealth Creation” notes that, instead of looking at desertification as a problem, it has been viewed as an opportunity for economic development and poverty alleviation.

Economic opportunities in dry lands- delegates to COP 13 touring a demonstration farm in Kubuqi desert, Ordos, Inner Mongolia, China

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11.09.2017

ROLL – The Chair of the African group, Mr. Mwendandu, flanked by Kenya’s delegation to COP 13 giving Kenya’s statement during the HLS

Kenya, which the chair of the African region group to the  Thirteenth Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD COP 13), has called for COP 13 to consider specific measures to deal with the impacts of drought in the region, and to increase resilience of the affected communities.

Delivering the Ministerial statement on behalf of the African group during the opening session of the High Level Segment of COP 13 in Ordos, Inner Mongolia, China, the Chair of the African group of negotiators, Mr. Richendandu noted that, drought was the most adverse climatic phenomenon affecting our region and has resulted to declining land productivity, increased food insecurity, exacerbated poverty, unemployment levels, decreased Gross Domestic Product, increased competition for natural resources, social economic disruptions and may compromise our efforts  to achieve Land Degradation Neutrality.

Mr. Mwendandu, who is also the Director of Multilateral Environmental Agreements in the State Department of Natural Resources observed that, in order to meet the set LDN targets, political commitment and enhanced resources will be required,over and above the national capabilities, and called for enhanced financial and technical support from partners and funding mechanisms, particularly, the Global Environmental Facility during the GEF-7 replenish phase.

On behalf of the African group region, Mr. Mwendandu appreciated the efforts by the UCCD secretariat to establish the LDN Fund and hoped that,the fund will be operationized in line with the Convention provisions.

The High Level Segment is being attended by over 80 Ministers and  more than 2,000 delegates from 196 member Countries of the UNCCD including Kenya, and 20 international organizations.

The COP 13

 

 

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 11.09.2017

The Vice Premier of the Peoples Republic of China, H.E. Mr. Wang Yang (centre) with the COP 13 President Mr. Zhang,and UNCCD Executive Secretary, Monique Burbut.

China has declared that fighting desertification was the joint mission of all humankind and the responsibility of the international community to ensure a beautiful planet and over the coming decades.

President Xi Jinping of the Peoples Republic of China has therefore promised that his country will put an emphasis on the development of an ecological civilization – including by combating desertification – to ensure better societal fairness and human well-being.

In a message delivered on his behalf by the Vice Premier of China, Mr. Wang Yang, during the opening of the 13th. Conference of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification’s High Level Segment, President Xi Jinping observed that several phenomena were a threat to the world well being.

He told the high-level segment that desertification, land degradation and drought were a threat to global security due to their impacts on livelihoods that sorely depended on land productivity.

If unchecked, he warned drought would lead to the worst humanitarian crises since the Second World War adding that distress migration was likely to escalate to an estimated 60 million people by 2045 courtesy of desertification in sub-Saharan Africa.

A cross section of Kenya’s delegation to COP 3 in Ordos, China, following deliberations during the official opening of the HLS.

The president noted that up to 2 billion hectares of land in 169 countries were degraded on average, and 12 million hectares were lost annually due to desertification and drought.

He observed that in an unprecedented global campaign to save productive land, 112 countries had agreed to make the Sustainable Development Goal target of achieving land degradation neutrality by 2030 a national target for action.
President Xi Jiping noted that, the world’s most populous nations of Brazil, China, India, Nigeria, Russia and South Africa had committed to land degradation neutrality programs targeting an estimated 1.3 billion mostly poor people to regain food, water, energy, job security and resilience to climate change.

He urged nations to join the restoration initiative that signaled determination to restore degraded land through the leadership of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and supported by International partners.

The  High Level Segment /Ministerial meeting of the 13th session of the UNCCD is being attended by more than 80 ministers and over 2,000 delegates from members states including civil societies, and will discuss pursuing land degradation neutrality as a viable response to the growing threats of desertification, drought, sand and dust storms.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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China’s Minister for Forests, Hon. Zhang Jianlong, (L), taking over the COP 13 Presidency from Turkey’s Cemal No_ay, Deputy Undersecretary, Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs

06.09.2017

Kenya was among the 196 countries that attended the thirteenth Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD COP 13) that opened in Ordos, Inner Mongolia, China.

The conference also attended by 20 international organizations, witnessed the handing over the COP presidency to Mr. Zhang Jianlong, Minister of State Forestry Administration, China, as the 13th President.

The COP presidency was handed over from Turkey who held the 12th conference presidency. During the handing over, the country was represented by Hon. Cemal Noğay, Deputy Undersecretary, Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs, Turkey, on behalf of Hon. Veysel Eroğlu, Minister of Forestry and Water Affairs.

Mr. Zhang Jianlong urged the conference parties to urgently consider integrating the Sustainable Development Goal on Desertification in their development plans in order to achieve a Land Degradation-neutral world by 2030.

Equally, he called on the parties to consider the future strategic Framework of the Convention, Implementation of the comprehensive communication strategy, and the United Nations Decade for Deserts and the fight against Desertification.

He noted that COP 13 was a gathering of great minds to discuss ways to combat desertification and share experiences of controlling the spread of  deserts in the world.

The President also called on the delegates to ensure that, starting from Ordos, and in the course of combating desertification, they embark on a fight side by side and engage in a common Endeavour to pursue green development.

Addressing the same gathering, the Executive Secretary of the UNCCD, Monique Barbut observed that, substantial achievements have resulted from efforts made over the past years. She added that more was expected with the strategic framework to be formed at from Ordos’s conference.

The executive Secretary further expressed fears that, the window of opportunity created from aligning the Convention with the 2030 Agenda was limited against high expectations. This therefore required more effort at COP 13 and thereafter to enable refocus implementation and translating the Land Degradation Neutrality targets into action.

Baurbut further noted that, COP 13 needed to take decisions on issues that had not been dealt with, including drought and sand storms, gender, land tenure security, and acceleration of knowledge and strategic communication.

Kenya on behalf of the African region and in its capacity as chair of the African group of negotiators, in a statement read by Dr. Kennedy Ondimu, of the State Department of Environment, said the country was looking forward to the adoption of the future strategic framework, which will be a landmark of the conference.

This will enhance UNCCD’s role in contributing to the implementation of sustainable development goals and the Rio convention, in a synergetic and integrated manner Dr. Ondimu added.

 

Kenya’s Dr. , Ondimu from the MENR, flanked by Mr. Dan Kithinji from the Ministry, making a statement on behalf of the African region group in Ordos, China

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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