, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 10 – First Lady Margaret Kenyatta has urged stakeholders in the natural resource sector to formulate policies that balance economic expansion activities with environmental conservation.
Noting that the country’s environment is under stress from a rapidly growing population, the First Lady called for closer partnership between the government and the private sector to bolster environmental conservation.
She spoke Tuesday night during the National Environment Trust Fund (NETFUND) Green Innovations Awards gala dinner at Safari Park Hotel in Nairobi.
Cabinet Secretary Judi Wakhungu and the Resident Coordinator, United Nations office at Nairobi (UNON) Nardos Bekele-Thomas also attended the event.
The NETFUND Green Innovations awards are sponsored by the Swedish Embassy in Nairobi to harness and share knowledge, technology and innovation in order to encourage broader economic and social growth within a sustainable framework.
She stressed the need for the country to embrace green growth and technologies for posterity.
The First Lady said the private sector has the required resources for eco-innovations that would guarantee sustainable environmental conservation. She added that the degraded environment required multi-stakeholder approach to redeem.
As the government establishes a framework for incentives in the market place to encourage eco-innovations, the First Lady said the business community also plays a role in conservation through awards to environmentalists.
She said: “I feel privileged to be part of the NETFUND Green Innovations awards scheme that emphasizes dual ecological and economic solutions to the environmental problems we face.”
The First Lady said the model encourages economic growth and ensures sustainable environmental conservation by promoting social inclusion.
NETFUND Green Innovations awards, she said, have the potential to help Kenya achieve a higher level of industrialization and also open the macro market for local entrepreneurs.
Head of Kenya Development co-operation at the Swedish Embassy Anders Ronquist pledged his Government’s commitment support to Kenya’s water sector in the next five years.
22 organizations and individuals excelling in seven Green Innovations categories were awarded cash prizes. Winners took home Sh1m while runners-up in second and third positions received Sh500,000 and Sh250,000 respectively.