NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 15 -Individuals, corporations and governments must collaborate and adhere to standards that protect the environment or risk being parties in causing catastrophic damage to the planet.
The remarks were made by the Managing Director, of the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) Lt Col (Rtd.) Bernard Njiraini, during the World Standards Day celebrations. This year’s theme is ‘Protecting the planet with Standards’.
“Climate change is one of the greatest threats to Kenya’s socio-economic wellbeing. As a developing country whose economy is dependent on climate-sensitive sectors, such as agriculture, water, energy and tourism, we must take action to protect our environment in order to end poverty in all its forms and promote sustainable development through application of standards for quality life.” Lt Col (Rtd.) Njiraini stressed.
So far, KEBS has developed and adopted over 1100 environmental standards aimed at mitigating the impact of human activities on the environment. These include standards that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency through incorporation of aspects of Minimum Energy Performances (MEPS) for appliances and devices such as lamps, refrigerators, air conditioners, computers, and heavy electric motors. Efforts have also been stepped up to increase water use efficiency through monitoring, reducing wastage, reusing, and recycling it.
The country also strives to enforce air quality standards by providing tolerance limits and monitoring emissions discharged by factories, refineries, boilers, and power plants. Soil quality standards provide guidelines on classification of contaminated sites, remediation – which is removal of pollutants and contaminants – disposal, treatment, reuse of remediated soil.
Other standards provide guidelines for tracking greenhouse gas emissions and radiation.
“We expect that these standards will provide regulations for prioritizing adaptation and enhanced climate resilience practices as they provide solutions to technical challenges facing initiatives to counter the negative effects of climate change,” observed the KEBS MD.
The standards body is also in the process of adopting the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) guidelines that will support the realization of the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) including clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, sustainable cities and communities, responsible consumption and production, life on land, life below water and climate action.
Speaking during the event, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development, Betty C. Maina (CBS), reiterated the Government’s commitment to implement mechanisms and measures aimed at achieving low carbon climate resilient development, in a manner that prioritizes adaptation.
“The government is currently implementing the National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP) 2018-2022 that outlines initiatives that foster movement towards the achievement of Kenya’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), including reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 30% and increasing the country’s forest cover to at least 10% of the land area by 2030,” said Maina.