Environment, Climate Change and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Soipan Tuya on Monday hosted a development partners meeting during which she shared her Ministry’s focus areas in line with the Kenya Kwanza administration’s natural resources sector plan.
The Cabinet Secretary listed environment, climate change and forestry governance; conservation, protection, management and restoration of the environment, and forestry ecosystems as well as climate change adaptation and mitigation as key focus areas.
Other focus areas for the Ministry of as outlined in its draft 2023 to 2027 strategic plan are agroforestry and commercial forestry management, and resource mobilization and partnerships.
“As a ministry, we are now very clear about our implementation trajectory. On Wednesday this week, the 24th of May 2023, we will be validating our strategic plan for the period 2023 to 2027.
“I know that as key stakeholders, some of you have added your voices to that draft strategic plan and would still invite those that have not to share with us your comments as we finalise the document,” Hon Soipan said.
The CS invited development partners to support the Ministry in the implementation of the various programmes in the five focus areas saying their support will help Kenya meet some of her international obligations.
“So, when we finally launch the strategic plan in June 2023, it is my hope that each partner around this table would have found an area to plug in to strengthen our partnership.
“This will contribute to our efforts in the realization of the aspiration under Article 42 of the Kenya Constitution 2010 to provide a clean and healthy environment to the people of Kenya.
“Moreover, it will also help Kenya to meet some of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN Agenda 2030 while at the same time enabling us to fulfill our international obligations on environment and climate change,” the CS said.
Ahead of the finalization of the Ministry’s strategic plan, the CS said implementation of several initiatives within the five focus areas was already underway including review of the Environment Management and Coordination Act (EMCA) and Forest Policy.
She said changes in the Forest Policy, which is due for presentation to the Cabinet for adoption in coming days, will pave the way for review of the Forest Conservation and Management Act. Reform of forest legislation is aimed at strengthening operations of Kenya Forest Service, KEFRI and other institutions in the sector.
“We have another thirteen (13) regulations in the environment, climate change and forestry sector that are before the Parliamentary Committee on Delegated Legislation, we are engaging the committee before we gazzette them,” CS Soipan said.
The CS said the ongoing amendment of the 2016 Climate Change Act is aimed at mainstreaming carbon trading among other reforms. The proposed amendments will undergo final virtual public participation this week ahead of due legislative processes.
On sustainable waste management, CS Soipan said the Ministry had developed a prototype bill that’s due for discussion with Counties. Once enacted, the County laws will enable the full implementation of the 2022 Sustainable Waste Management Act which seeks to entrench the circular economy in the country.
The Cabinet Secretary spoke about ecosystem restoration priorities through the 15 billion tree growing and restoration programme, saying the flagship Kenya Kwanza administration project seeks to raise Kenya’s tree cover from the current 12.3 to 30 percent by 2032.
“As part of this programme, we have developed a Wetlands Restoration Strategy that is being championed by the State Department of Environment and Climate Change.
“We launched this strategy last week and engaged with both national and county government frontline players to sensitize them on the same,” the CS said, noting that Kenya has 5,300 wetlands that need to be restored.
On the September 4th to 6th Africa Climate Summit, CS Tuya said Kenya will co-host the Heads of State and Government meeting alongside the annual Africa Climate Week at KICC in Nairobi, and thanked several development partners for supporting aspects of the conference.
She thanked the Danish Government for sponsoring the Africa Climate Summit Secretariat Office and event venue, German Government through GIZ for taking up communication and publicity costs as well as the International Organization of Migration (IOM), and called on more partners to come on board.
“I would like to make a special plea at this point to all of you as partners, please find an aspect of the summit that you can support financially. Please do not leave the table without making a commitment,” the CS appealed.
The Cabinet Secretary was joined at the meeting by Principal Secretary Eng Festus Ng’eno (Environment and Climate Change) and his Forestry counterpart Gitonga Mugambi as well as the President’s Climate Change Envoy Amb Ali Mohamed.