WOTE, Kenya, Nov 25 – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has called for sustained resource mobilization efforts to finance locally-led disaster risk management to avert climate triggered calamities.
In remarks delivered at a panel discussion on climate change and risk management at the 7th Devolution Conference, Kenya’s inaugural sub-national climate summit, in Makueni, UNDP Resident Representative in Kenya Walid Badawi proposed a multi-pronged approach to fund mitigative measures at the grassroot level where he noted adaptive mechanisms are most needed.
“Kenya has done relatively well in terms of attracting international finance for climate change in Africa but it doesn’t come near the USD62 billion figure that has been projected that’s needed to reach 32 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions,” Badawi said on Thursday.
While delivering a virtual address during the opening ceremony of the conference on Wednesday, President Uhuru Kenyatta revealed that Kenya pledged to attain a 32 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, as part of its commitments at the COP 26 climate summit in Glasgow.
“This will cost Sh6,874 billion (US $ 62 billion). Out of this figure, Kenya will mobilize 13 per cent from domestic sources, while we expect fund the balance of 87 per cent from the external sources,” he explained.
Badawi, who welcomed Kenya’s commitment, said UNPD was working directly with counties to strengthen disaster risk reduction even as he urged devolved units to take necessary steps to mainstream disaster risk reduction in respective budgets.
“Robust financing for disaster risk reduction actually helps, and while international finance is key, its only catalytic. Mainstreaming DRR in local budgeting is a more sustainable solution,” Badawi pointed out.
The Resident Representative noted that climate financing is a key enabler to climate adaptation without which climate adaptation commitments and targets cannot be realized.
He said UNPD was keen to implement a whole-of-society approach in a bid to mitigate risk and ensure sustainable development.
Mandera Governor Ali Roba who also featured in the panel underscored the need to support counties in Arid and Semi-Arid Land (ASAL) areas where he said interventions are resource-intense.
He said Mandera county had for instance spent Sh880 million to financing its tree planting program. Roba said the county had successfully grown 250,000 trees.
“In ASAL areas, trees require a lot of care because of the prevailing dry conditions. It therefore takes a much longer period to nature a tree to a point it can thrive without requiring further care,” he said.
The panel debate on climate change and risk management is among key sessions at the conference anchored on climate change and pandemic at the sub-national level where delegates and development partners are seeking to formulate solutions to address human security challenges triggered by climate crises.
The three-day conference set to close on Friday with the adoption of a joint communique detailing outcomes also featured discussions on sustainable urbanization, food systems, sustainable natural resources management, the impact of climate change on health in counties, and prevention and management of climate change instigated conflicts.
During a panel discussion on the impact of climate change and pandemics on peace and security on Wednesday, the Ministry of Interior revealed that climate-related situations such as drought had presented fresh security challenges.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi singled out clashes over pasture in Laikipia where herders had invaded private ranches and left a trail of destruction, including murders.
“Our security agencies are currently spending between 25-30 per cent of operational budget responding to the situation in Laikipia and cattle rustling in parts of the north-eastern region,” he said.