Waiguru calls for prioritization of climate change interventions 

The Council of Governors (COG) Chairperson, Anne Waiguru has called for prioritization of climate change mitigation and adaptation actions in all development sectors.

Waiguru was speaking at the 27th UN Conference on climate (COP 27) taking place in Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt.

During a session aimed at examining multilevel action and how sub-national and international actors can work together to drive climate progress faster and respond to a rapidly growing world, the Governor said that development sectors such as agriculture, livestock, water, environment, infrastructure, sustainable livelihoods, health, energy infrastructure, tourism and offer an opportunity for integration of climate change mitigation and adaptation.

She also proposed the development of wastewater initiatives and strategies, embracing climate smart agriculture, clean energy and afforestation in order to maximize resource use and benefits and improve efficiency.

Waiguru called for equipping of all climate actors with knowledge and capabilities to manage climate change disruptions through awareness raising and technical assistance activities.

“Creation of enabling environment for climate change through mitigation and adaptation at sub-national levels though conducive policy and legal environment to support climate action is also a matter of priority” she said.

She also called for integration of the role of youth, women, people with disabilities, indigenous people and local communities in climate action as well as mainstreaming gender and youth in all climate change solutions and actions.

Waiguru pointed out that every generation has a defining moment and agenda and the youth have a role to play in supporting transition to circular economy model of waste management from the linear model.

She said that counties are currently supporting the creation of women and youth led green investments to improve livelihoods and create employment as well as undertaking restoration of forest, watershed and rangelands.

On addressing the climate and biodiversity crises interaction, Waiguru called for a profound collective shift of individual and shared values concerning nature, such as moving away from the conception of economic progress based solely on GDP growth, to one that balances human development with multiple values of nature for quality life while not overshooting biophysical and social limits.

She called upon the international community to accelerate the flow of climate finance to complement public sources in supporting interventions that enhance resilience of communities and enable them to speed up the works for climate interventions. She also appealed for capacity building for County Governments on access to green and Blue financing (Green and Blue Bonds) as well as operationalization of Climate Change Units and environment committees.

The COG Chair noted that Kenya is among the countries adversely affected by climate change citing that the current drought situation continues to worsen in the 29 Arid and Semi-Arid Lands
(ASAL) counties as a result of failure of four consecutive rain season, with 4.35 million people already affected.

Other effects of climate change cited by the governor included migration of flamingos due to inability of Lake Nakuru to support life in terms of feed supply  and the rising water levels in Lake Baringo, Naivasha that has disrupted proper ecosystem functioning.

At the same time the governor highlighted some of the interventions that county governments have prioritized for support, including development of County Climate Innovation Hubs to support youth and women participation and contribution to climate change adaptation and mitigation.

She added that counties have mainstreamed climate change adaptation priorities in planning and allocated an estimate of 3% of development budget to support climate action.

“Counties have also undertaken participatory climate risk assessment in collaboration with community members and stakeholders and we are encouraging peer to peer learning across the county governments.” Said the COG Chair.


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