Friday, October 20, 2017

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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