WWF commends Kenya’s progress in protecting environment, calls for more action

June 6, 2017 10:24 am
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World Wide Fund (WWF) Kenya’s Chief Executive Officer Mohamed Awer told Capital FM News during a dinner to mark the World Environment Day at the Canadian High Commissioner’s residence that protection of the environment is vital to the country’s development/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 6 – There is need to foster sustainable development of natural resources in Kenya to ensure the country reaps maximum gains from its biological diversity.

World Wide Fund (WWF) Kenya’s Chief Executive Officer Mohamed Awer told Capital FM News during a dinner to mark the World Environment Day at the Canadian High Commissioner’s residence that protection of the environment is vital to the country’s development.

“You know that 80 per cent of our economy is derived from natural resources and our people derive their livelihood from natural resources but we’re saying that there should be an equilibrium in that connection so that we have sustainable management of natural resources,” Awer said on Monday.

He noted that the government had made tremendous strides in protection of the environment but however said that more needed to be done to counter the increasing pressure on natural resources.

“The government has made a lot of progress in terms of legislation and investments in natural resources but we think there’s more to be done because of the increasing pressure that we’re facing against natural resources,” he observed.

Awer dismissed the notion that the country needed more funding from development partners to address the challenges it faces as far as nature protection is concerned saying the revenues generated by the country are enough to ensure the environment is safeguarded.

“There’s is enough money but what we need is prudent management of the financial resources and allocate them appropriately so that they are put into proper use.”

During the event which coincided with Canada’s 150th independence day anniversary, the Canadian High Commissioner Sara Hradecky said the world acknowledges the vital contribution Kenya makes to the world’s geography.

Speaking to Capital FM News on the sidelines of the 43th global environment day – which Canada had a privilege of hosting in Ottawa, Canada – Hradecky said the Kenya’s natural heritage makes the country a vital partner in achieving Sustainable Development Goals as far as conservation of nature is concerned.

“Like Canada, Kenya’s natural environment is really at the heart on Kenya’s identity, it’s part of who you are and Kenya has a reason to be extremely proud of the country’s natural landscapes and the country’s contribution to the world, its geography and wildlife,” she said.

Hradecky who hosted the WWF Kenya in commemorating this year’s fete dubbed “Connecting People to Nature” however said there was need to focus on challenges that come with population growth to avoid human encroachment into wildlife sanctuaries.

“As more and more of us inhabit the planet and need space in which to develop, live and carry on with our livelihoods, we’re all encroaching on the natural habitats of our wildlife and I think these are the challenges that must be faced by all countries to ensure that our wildlife is also protected,” she said.

This year’s celebration came at a time when global debate on climate change had intensified with world leaders condemning actions of US President Donald Trump who pulled out of the Paris Agreement on cutting down carbon emission saying, “it did not give Americans fair and reciprocal trade , and a level playing field.”

Trump however said the US was willing to renegotiate the deal to ensure his nation gets a better deal.

According to statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO), a whopping 92 per cent of the global population “do not breath safe air”.

Further, air pollution is said to be causing 570,000 deaths annually in children under five years.

The statistics also indicate that 56 and 98 per cent of cities in high income countries and low income countries respectively with more than 100,000 people do not meet WHO regulations on safe air.

In marking the World Environment Day Monday, the UN body recommended walking, cycling and use of public transport to cut down on carbon emissions.

 

 

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