World Bank has pledged to support some programmes and projects in the Ministry. The World Bank director of Environment and Natural Resources Global Practice Ms. Julia Bucknall said that they will support projects and programmes in the forestry, wildlife, tourism, climate change sectors and LVEMP II project. They will also strengthen national –county government institutional capacity; promote public private partnerships and source for funds to support the Solid Waste Management programme.
In a meeting attended by senior Ministry officials and the World Bank team, Cabinet Secretary Prof. Judi Wakhungu thanked the team for the support and noted that conserving biodiversity is the way to go if we are to have a clean, secure and sustainable environment.
Prof. Wakhungu observed that the wildlife sector was under extreme pressure from habitat fragmentation and encroachment, impacts of climate change, poaching, reduced tolerance from communities and the private sector among other challenges. She noted that space is the biggest problem in the sector as opposed to poaching.
To mitigate the challenges, she noted that the government had made several interventions including enactment of Wildlife Conservation and Management Act, 2013, recruitment, training and deployment of additional rangers and enhancement of collaborative approaches among the law and security enhancement agencies in the country.
In the forest sector, the Cabinet Secretary observed that the country has 4.2m hectares of forested land compared to the targeted 5.8m hectares. She expressed satisfaction that the potential for increasing the forest cover is immense but requires strong partnerships and collaboration with key stakeholders in the sector. She added that the country had attained 7.2% forest cover up from 6.9% and strategies are in place to increase it to 10% in line with the internationally recognized standards.
Prof. Wakhungu reiterated that most environmental services are devolved and called for support to build capacity of County Governments to manage and execute national strategies. On promoting private public partnerships, she said the focus will be on ecotourism development in parks and conservancies, promoting clean energy use, promoting non wood based industry in rural areas and forest products value chain addition.
The World Bank director was in the country to familiarize herself with World Bank operations and meet with various stakeholders and particularly public sector institutions and development partners on future engagements and collaborations in the sector.
The meeting was also attended by the Principal Secretary for Natural Resources, Dr. Margaret Mwakima, Conservation Secretary Gideon Gathaara, Environment Secretary, Dr. Alice Kaudia, Director, Climate Change Coordination and Programmes Dr. Pacifica Ogola, and representatives from LVEMP II project, WARMA, KFS, among other senior Ministry officials.