Wednesday, September 20, 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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