Kenya to include climate change in devt blueprint

July 14, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 14 – The government is now planning to revise Vision 2030 to include the issue of climate change.

Nominated MP Rachael Shebesh said on Tuesday that the Ministry of Planning had accepted to include disaster risk reduction focusing on climate change in the ambitious plan.

“You know planning is everything. You cannot have a Vision 2030 that doesn’t incorporate the risk factor. What if we don’t have a good crop. What if we have locusts invading our farms, or any other disaster,” Ms Shebesh who is also the Chairperson of an Africa Parliamentarians Group on Climate Change posed.

She said inclusion of the disaster risk reduction strategy would allow Kenya to survive any disaster caused by climate change.

The legislator added that Kenya had been selected as one of the five African countries that would present the continent’s agenda at the high level climate change meeting to be held in Copenhagen in December.

“The Foreign Affairs Minister (Moses Wetangula) did a very good job in Libya of lobbying for Kenya to be one of the five countries,” she said at a Climate Change forum.

“Our advantage is that when you lead such a course it means that you are going to be recognised globally and that means that when it comes to climate change, when people need intervention on a global level, whether it is the European Union or World Bank, they will always focus on Kenya,” Ms Shebesh added.

She said African parliamentarians would also lead the way through a campaign dubbed ‘Black and Green’ to sensitise people on Climate Change.

‘Black’ would stand for the African people while ‘Green’ is the environment.

“This campaign is going to be launched in South Africa because that is where the Pan African Parliament sits but Kenya is going to be the pilot and show case of how the ‘Black and Green’ initiative can work in a country,” said the MP.

At the same forum, Agricultural Producers raised concern over Kenya’s eagerness to take up new technologies without providing necessary legislation for the same.

Dr John Mutunga of the Kenya National Federation of Agricultural Producers said it was worrying to see investment especially in the upcoming bio-energy sector without the necessary legislation.

He said there was need to clearly study some of these areas to come up with clear policy guidelines on how to engage in long term sustainable investments which are beneficial to the people without necessarily destroying the environment.

“I think many African countries don’t have any policy on Bio-fuel production and what we are seeing is a country like Kenya getting into it without getting better organised,” he remarked.

“Without a policy direction, you will end up investing and at the end of the day you will not have looked keenly into some of the trade offs that you make,” Dr Mutunga added.

Kenya Climate Change Working Group Convenor, Susy Wandera said the continent now needed a better deal at the upcoming Copenhagen meeting.

“Africa has only about three percent of the CDM projects. What we want now is funding in the adaptation fund and we don’t want donor institutions like the World Bank to control those funds,” she said.

She expressed fear that if the donor agencies controlled the funds, they would create obstacles and the intended recipients of the money; in this case the communities would not receive it.


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