Kenya’s Comprehensive Approach to Addressing Climate Change
Most of the countries in the world, especially in Africa, consider Climate Change to be a major threat to sustainable development, necessitating for international attention and action. The Paris Agreement on Climate Change was a starting point where all the nations jointly fronted their aspirations to battle climate change and adapt to its effects. A number of the countries have ratified the Agreement and corresponding positive actions are under implementation. However, there is need for the countries to expedite the process of implementation and widen the scale. The Agreement entered into force on November 4, 2016, coinciding with the 22nd UN Conference of Parties on Climate Change (COP 22) in Marrakech, Morocco.
Kenya heads to COP22, having cabinet approval of the Paris Agreement. It is the instrument that will forge the country’s future in implementing its priority actions towards climate change mitigation, as well as adaptation. Kenya in its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) aspires towards low carbon and climate resilient development. The Country is coming up with an all-inclusive implementation plan of its INDC. Six (6) sectorworking groups are detailing specifics for each sector and priority actions. The INDC is informed by a number of key policy documents that set priority of country’s climate agenda; the National Climate Change Response Strategy (NCCRS), the National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP), and the National Adaptation Plan (NAP).
Kenya has a Climate Change Act that commenced on May 06 2016. It provides for a regulatory framework for enhanced response to climate change and provide for measures and mechanisms to achieve a low carbon climate resilient development. On October 13 2016 the cabinet approved the National Climate Change Policy Framework (CCPF) for submission to, and adoption by Parliament as a Sessional Paper on National Climate Change. The CCPF provides a framework for coordinated response to climate change, and will streamline and Kenya’s Comprehensive Approach to Addressing Climate Change
guide efforts at both the international, national and local levels to address the challenges and seize opportunities that may arise. According to the World Bank, investments that are low-carbon and climate-resilient can be relevant in promoting sustainable economic growth, which is key to achieving countries’ goals of ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity.The comprehensive and timely nature in which the Kenyan government has addressed climate change attests its willingness to address challenges that come with climate change and at the same time capitalizing on inherent opportunities.
The Government of Kenya, for example, is implementing the National Agriculture Insurance and Risk Management Program. It has both crop and livestock insurance schemes. With the crop insurance, smallholder farmers’ capacity to manage risks and losses will be enhanced. The livestock insurance will cushion livestock keepers, predominantly in the arid and semi arid lands, against the risks resulting from disasters associated with droughts.
Kenya is participating in the REDD+ process, with pursuit of compensation for its actions taken to reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions from the forestry sector. The National Government, in partnership with County Governments and other partners, is focusing at sustainable management of solid waste. It launched a 100–days Rapid Results Initiative (RRI) in August, 2016 as a strategic intervention approach intended to focus attention and effort for a quick turn-around targeting easily achievable actions. Kenya has also developed a National Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA) Support Project on “Circular Economy Solid Waste Management” in the urban areas. It proposes a new approach to waste management that involves waste recycling and composting. These form part of the highlights in this issue.
Harun Warui (PhD)
National Project Manager, LECRD