President Kenyatta due at high level UN Environment Assembly session

May 26, 2016 7:00 am
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The UN Environment Assembly is the second to take place in Nairobi with the inaugural event having taken place in 2014 and the next scheduled for 2018/FILE
The UN Environment Assembly is the second to take place in Nairobi with the inaugural event having taken place in 2014 and the next scheduled for 2018/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 26 – President Uhuru Kenyatta will Thursday morning preside over the opening of the High-Level Segment of the United Nations Environment Assembly taking place at the UN offices in Gigiri.

United Nations Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson will also be present for the opening ceremony.

Overview
  • United Nations Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson will also be present for the opening ceremony.
  • The UN Environment Assembly is the second to take place in Nairobi with the inaugural event having taken place in 2014 and the next scheduled for 2018.
  • The event precedes the exit of Achim Steiner as UNEP Executive Director, with former Norwegian Environment Minister Erik Solheim named as successor.

The UN Environment Assembly is the second to take place in Nairobi with the inaugural event having taken place in 2014 and the next scheduled for 2018.

The event precedes the exit of Achim Steiner as UNEP Executive Director, with former Norwegian Environment Minister Erik Solheim named as successor.

READ: Steiner reflects on time at UNEP, speaks on his future

Steiner has described the last UNEA as a resounding success given the doubling of UNEP’s budget and commitments made to address air pollution, the illegal trade in wildlife, marine debris among other environmental concerns.

Part of the agenda of UNEA-2 has been demonstrating the link between environmental degradation and a decline in health and increase in pre-mature deaths.

READ: Inaction on air pollution, ecological ruin homicidal: UNEP chief

It is also focused on ‘green finance’; the generation of funds for conservation efforts.

In a precursor to the High-Level segment, the UN launched the #WildforLife campaign on Wednesday.

It brings together UNEP, the UN Development Programme, the UN office on Drugs and Crime, the World Bank, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and celebrities in raising awareness on the need to protect endangered species such as the Elephant, Sea Turtle and Pangolin.

In which effort the public has been called upon to log onto www.wildfor.life and take a test to determine their, “spirit animal.”

“Mine is the elephant,” Kenya’s Environment Minister Judi Wakhungu announced at the campaign launch on Wednesday.

After determining what their kindred animal is, the public is encouraged to take up their cause and lobby for their continued survival.

UNEA-2 comes hot on the heels of the burning of 105 tonnes of ivory by Kenya in an act intended to raise awareness on the plight of Africa’s elephants.

At the preceding Giants Club Summit held in Nanyuki, Kenya made a number of commitments including announcing that it would lobby for a total ban on the trade of ivory at the Johannesburg CITES meet in September.

READ: KWS to get in-house prosecution unit

It is therefore likely that President Kenyatta will seek to rally support for the cause on Thursday.

But poachers, Wakhungu said on Wednesday, are not the only threat to Kenya’s wildlife given the encroachment on Kenya’s wildlife reserves.

At the Giants Club Summit last month, Kenya pledged to erect 120 kilometres of fence in Tsavo and Laikipia, to start with, to guard against human-wildlife conflict.

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