Wednesday, September 20, 2017

4th September, 2017

CS for Environment & Natural Resources Prof. Judi Wakhungu (C) giving her key note address during the conference on Climate,Ecostems and Livelihods for Africa at the UN Environment Headquaters in Nairobi.

Cabinet Secretary, Judi Wakhungu has reiterated that the government will not relent on the ban on plastic bags so as to conserve our land, water, ocean and the broader environment for posterity.

She said this today during a conference on climate, ecosystem and livelihoods for Africa at UNEP headquarters in Gigiri. The conference aimed at promoting South-South Cooperation and Integrated Approaches for Implementation of Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Agreement in Africa.

The CS noted that Africa is particularly vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change with multiple ecological, political, and socioeconomic impacts interacting to increase the region’s susceptibility and constraining its adaptive capacity. This is as a result of high exposure to damaging climate risks such as; extreme droughts, floods and storms; low adaptive capacity; high rates of poverty; financial and technological constraints; and heavy reliance on rain-fed agriculture.

She observed that climate change is a critical issue that has the potential to compromise food security and livelihoods in the region. “The livelihoods of about 70 % of Africans are dependent on rain-fed agriculture, which is characterized by small-scale subsistence farms that are vulnerable to various adverse effects”, she explained.

Kenya is struggling to come to terms with the impacts of two consecutive years of drought, which has left more than 2.6 million people at risk. Widespread crop failure and lack of pasture for pastoralists have affected farming and agro-pastoral communities in the arid and semi-arid parts of the country.

In order to adequately respond to climate change, she said the government has put in place a National Climate Change Response Strategy, a National Climate Change Action Plan, National Adaptation Plan and Climate Change Act, 2016. The Act strengthens climate change governance, institutional arrangements, and mainstreaming of climate change into sectoral planning, budgeting and implementation at all levels of government.

The Act also recognises the climate action plan as a framework to guide the mainstreaming of climate change adaptation and mitigation across the different sectors at the National and County government levels; and hence contribute towards the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Agreement.

To implement global agreements like the 2030 SDGs and Paris Agreement, she observed that there’s need to consider the multi-benefit and integrated approach for the sustainability of the current and future generations.

The Chinese Government and scientists are promoting the Belt & Road initiative globally and promoting diversified, independent, balanced and sustainable development in countries.

The Conference provided an opportunity for Chinese and African scientists to share experiences and lessons leant, propose priorities and build partnerships for further cooperation.

Kenya is implementing several bilateral cooperation programmes with the Chinese Agencies.

A group photo of participants during the Conference on Climate,Ecosystems and Livelihoods for Africa at the UN Environment headquaters Gigiri

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