By Bob Aston
The Arid Lands Information Network (ALIN) is pleased to present a special edition of Joto Afrika newsletter. This edition presents key initiatives the Ministry of Environment Natural Resources and Regional Development Authorities (MENRRDA) and its partners have undertaken in realizing a low emission and climate resilient development pathway.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) supported the production of the special edition of the newsletter by funding the Low Emission and Climate Resilient Development (LECRD) Project, within the framework of the US Government led effort on Enhancing Capacity for Low Emission Development Strategy (EC-LEDS).
Joto Afrika, meaning “Africa is feeling the heat’ in Kiswahili is a series of printed briefings and online resources about low emission and climate change adaptation actions. The series helps people understand the issues, constrains and opportunities that people face in adapting to climate change and escaping poverty.
|The special issue of Joto Afrika|
According to Richard L. Lesiyampe (PhD) MBS, Principal Secretary MENRRDA, the special edition had featured some initiatives made by non-state actors toward strengthening the national response to climate change.
This is to demonstrate that an effective climate response must involve all stakeholders working in a coordinated manner, hence harnessing different experiences and lesson for maximum effectiveness.
He noted that climate change presents a special global challenge to the social and economic development agenda. Kenya has taken important steps towards effectively addressing the phenomenon, including putting in place relevant policies and strategies.
The country, for example, was among the first in Africa to come up with a National Climate Change Response Strategy (NCCRS) in 2010. Thereafter in 2013, Kenya launched the National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP, 2013–2017), which is the blueprint for implementing the NCCRS.
Additionally, Kenya is in the process of formalizing both the National Climate Change Framework Policy and Climate Change Bill.
In response to the decisions adopted by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the country has now developed its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) on reducing Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions that was submitted in July 2015.
The INDC has an ambitious target of 30 per cent reduction in emissions by 2030. It is in line with the low carbon climate resilient development pathway, which Kenya has adopted.
Kenya has also set in place a mechanism for raising public awareness about climate change as a way of ensuring all-round involvement of citizens in combating its negative impacts and taking advantage of opportunities.
In a bold step to bring this about, the government has constructed a National Climate Change Resource Centre in Nairobi, which is open for public use. It is the national repository for climate change information relevant to Kenya.
The Resource Centre incorporates green building concepts such as use of solar power, biogas, and water recycling. The Centre has a library, amphitheater and training facilities for dissemination of climate related information.
A virtual online version of the Climate Change Resource Centre in the form of a one-stop climate change portal is currently under development to ensure widespread access of climate change information by the public.
It is our hope that readers will find this special issue informative and add value to their work on addressing the challenges and opportunities that come with climate change. You can download a copy of the special Joto Afrika issue here.