The government has put interventions in place to mitigate climate change and its effects in the country. This has been done by enacting the Climate Change Act, 2016 making Kenya one of the few countries in the world to enact a climate change law. Efforts to increase the forest cover are a notch higher having increased from 6.9% in 2013 to 7.24%. Towards this end, KEFRI has been undertaking research to identify the best indigenous tree species to be planted in arid and semi arid lands.
Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Natural Resources, Prof. Judi Wakhungu said this during an interview with KTN in her office. She explained that water harvesting is also being encouraged for irrigation use and to avert drought and hunger. Moreover, an early warning system is in place to provide automatic weather updates in various regions across the country.
Wakhungu emphasized that the Ministry will continue raising awareness on climate change in all sectors to secure the environment for the future. ‘We are responsible for our environment and we must secure it for the future’, we must do this by planting trees and not littering’, said she. Environmental issues will also be mainstreamed in the education curriculum up to tertiary level to educate Kenyans on the importance of respecting and conserving the environment. The Ministry is also providing standards on emissions to manufacturers to reduce their pollution footprint on the environment.
On biodiversity, Prof. Wakhungu said that the country was working hard to ensure that 10% of all land is earmarked as protected areas (national parks, marine parks and reserves etc). She added that people with large tracks of land are being encouraged to conserve wildlife to weather the effects of climate change and also use it as an opportunity to generate revenue and improve their livelihoods.