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NAIROBI Kenya (PAMACC News) - A team of scientists from the Kenya Markets Trust (KMT) on April 11, 2018 shared all the key research findings of four different thematic studies conducted in Kenya under the Pathways to Resilience in Semi-Arid Economies (PRISE) project.

“The Kenya government is now focusing on the “Big Four” agenda aimed at improving livelihoods, creating jobs and growing the economy by focusing on critical areas of the economy in the next five years,” noted Kamau Kuria, the head of KMT.  

“It is noteworthy that part of the PRISE study, which aimed at strengthening the understanding and knowledge of decision-makers on the threats and opportunities that semi-arid economies face in relation to climate change, will go a long way in helping unlock the potential of semi-arid lands in Kenya and thus enhance  their contribution to the national agenda,” he told delegates drawn from Kenya , Senegal, International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and Overseas Development Institute (ODI) during the event to disseminate key research findings in a Nairobi Hotel.

The study, which was commissioned by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Canada and the UK based Department for International Development (DFID) aims at supporting climate resilient economic development in partner countries by identifying opportunities for adaptation that are also opportunities for investment by the public and private sectors.

“These findings from Kenya will help change the narrative in semi-arid areas,” said Dr Eva Ludifrom the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) – which is coordinating the PRISE project at a global level.

According to Dr Evans Kitui of IDRC, direct involvement of government officials both at the county and the national level is a pointer towards implementation of policies that will emanate from the four studies. “In the past, research has not been well appreciated. But now, we can see a lot of government participation,” he said.

One of the studies found that in the past 50 years, temperatures have risen in all the 21 semi-arid counties in Kenya, with five of them recording an increase of more than 1.5oC increase. They include Turkana (1.8oC), West Pokot, ElgeyoMarakwet (1.91oC), Baringo (1.8oC), Laikipia (1.59oC) and Narok (1.75oC).  

This, according to Dr Mohammed Said, one of the lead researchers, has impacted greatly on livestock survival, on one hand presenting a disaster, and on the other hand providing an opportunity that can be exploited

“There were winners and losers,” he told delegates at the forum. “Generally, cattle do not survive the higher temperatures, while at the same time, sheep and goat population increased exponentially,” said Dr Said.

According to the study, whose theme was to harness opportunities for climate-resilient economic development in semi-arid lands and identifying the potential for economic transformation and diversification in semi-arid lands especially in the beef value chain, the overall population of cattle in all the semi-arid counties reduced by more than 26% between the year 1977 and 2016.

However, the study also reveals that goats and sheep population increased tremendously by 76% in the same period, with camels’ population increased by 14%. “This shows that goats, sheep, and camels enjoyed the higher temperatures while cattle could not survive the stress,” said Dr Said.

“We’ve seen great potential for implementing some of the adaptation options and I call upon the stakeholders gathered here today, to pull together so we can build resilience and open up the ASALs for trade, investments and better livelihoods,” said Kuria of KMT.

In Nyeri County, for example, Dr James Gakuo began with buying severely emaciated cattle for fattening at his farm in Kiganjo through intensive system of beef production that focuses on feeding cattle for 90 days on concentrate feeds till they reach the desired weight for the market, thereby creating a market for such animals that would otherwise have died.

In just two years, 14 other farmers have followed in his footsteps, and are in the business of fattening emaciated cattle thus providing more market to pastoralists who are hard hit by tough climatic conditions.

Another study looked at the land tenure with a special focus on Maasai pastoralist community in Kajiado County.

The study found out that 64 percent of the entire Kajiado County is now private land that is not open for grazing.“Though this has provided opportunity because privatisation always leads to greater investment opportunities for those who can secure land, it marginalizes the poor and particularly women in the process,” said Dr Stephen Moiko, one of the lead researchers. 

According to Dr Eva Ludi of ODI, these findings will be presented at the Talanoa Dialogue in Bonn, Germany come May 2018.

The purpose of Talanoa Dialogue is for parties to share climate change related stories, build empathy and to make wise decisions for the collective good.

According to Dr Said, county governments should also take advantage of the research findings and scenario projections to develop their spatial plans.

“These findings will be important in the formulation of new policies and strategies such as the National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP 2018-2022), the National Wildlife Conservation and Management Strategy, and the County Development Integrated Plans (CIDPs),” said Joseph Muhwanga, the PRISE project National Coordinator in Kenya.

The Pan African Climate Justice is today holding the second national stakeholders consultative meeting on national climate change governance at the Double Tree Hotel in Nairobi. 

The meeting, which is being held under the Angaza project, seeks to give feedback on the outcomes of the committee set up to come up with recommendations on consolidation of the national CSO climate governance platform and creation of a national non-state actors platform.

There will be discussions on the review of the national climate change action plan and communication on the way forward on the selection process for CSO representatives on the national climate change council by a task force led by the NGO council.

The meeting will also provide an opportunity to discuss the national CSO momentum platform membership and thematic working groups.

The Angaza project which is under the Deepening Democracy Programme funded by the British People through UK Aid seeks to promote effective climate change governance in Kenya through coordination among civil societies to engage and advocate for a transparent, accountable, participatory climate change governance process.

The project seeks to encourage civil society organisations to explore ways to work together on thematic issues within climate change and build the capacity of thematic working groups to meaningfully collaborate under the newly enacted Climate Change Act 2016 regime.

Strengthened CSO thematic working groups provide informed input, technical review papers, and information on climate change processes including government-led climate change interventions with the participation of CSOs.

The strategy empowers CSOs to participate in governance and their own development by addressing climate change gaps within governance processes as well as enhancing CSO capacity to effectively engage, while at the same time offering informed perspectives that complement government’s work through enhanced participation.

The project was launched in December 2017 and officially began implementation in January 2018.

 

The Pan African Climate Justice Alliance has welcomed the move by the Kenya Members of the National Assembly to support the passage of the National Policy on Climate Change that will see the government set aside Ksh200 million annually over five years to address the impacts of climate change after it is passed.

Speaking in his office on Wednesday, PACJA Secretary General Mithika Mwenda lauded the move by the MPs terming it a step in the right direction. 

“This move is a step in the right direction and demonstrates commitment by the Kenyan Government to address climate change and its impacts on the citizenry,” he said. 

Mr Mithika took the opportunity to state that the developed nations, which are historically responsible for the rapid change in the earth’s climate, should bear the responsibility for the mitigation efforts, adding that partners should match the government’s commitment ten fold.

“We now leave it to the industralised countries to compliment this commitment. The amount proposed is little compared to the impacts being faced by the citizens so we insist that the responsibility rests with the industralised nations as per climate change conventions and the Paris Agreement,” he noted.

Yesterday (Tuesday) the MPs expressed concern that global warming caused by climate change will have an adverse effect on all the sectors of the economy including agriculture, industry, energy, water, trade and tourism.

The leader of Majority Aden Duale urged MPs to approve the policy to help transform Kenya by implementing the Vision 2013.

He regretted that the cost of managing climate change impacts is increasing day by day and thus need to be addressed urgently.

“If climate change is left unattended to, it will impede vision 2030 whose aim is to transform Kenya into a globally competitive, middle-income country,” he said.

Leader of Minority John Mbadi said effects of deforestation have had disastrous effects including reducing the country’s water levels. He proposed that in order to address the impact of climate change there is need to pass legislation to condition local companies to put a percentage of their profits into planting trees. 

The Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) has just concluded stakeholder consultations with Ethiopia, Botswana and Zambia on climate advocacy and inputs into national and regional strategic climate change processes. These three countries also underwent an Organization Capacity Assessment to understand their strengths, weakness, and opportunities as organizations and strengthen strategic links

This move by PACJA is aimed at creating strong pillars in countries hosting Regional Economic Integration Communities (RECs) and Pan African Institutions to ensure consistent and sustainable outreach, where civil society and communities at the front line of climate change impacts play proactive role.

The National platforms identified and relevant Institutions they host, respectively, include Kenya (UN Environment), Ethiopia (AU, UNECA), Botswana (SADC), Gabon (AMCEN, CAHOSCC, CEMACC), Nigeria (ECOWAS), Tanzania (EAC), Ivory Coast (African Development Bank) and Zambia (COMESA).

This process will enhance capacity of civil society and their effectiveness in coordination, strategically engaging in various governmental spaces, first beginning at national and feeding into continental levels, will enable them to catalyse change and ensure bottom-up, pro-poor and people-centred narratives form the basis for implementation of the provisions of the Paris Agreement, and more importantly, the Nationally Determined Contributions ( NDCs). 

The next stakeholder consultative meetings will take place in Gabon, Ivory Coast, Nigeria and Tanzania.

The Pan African Climate Justice Alliance is today holding a meeting on climate change resilience and adaptation in Embu County. 

The meeting that is being organized under the Trocaire-funded Community Resilience And Climate Change Adaptation project is geared at engaging stakeholders including policymakers to develop climate change policies that take Natural Resource Management into consideration.

The meetings come just a day after similar meetings were held in Kitui and Tharaka Nithi counties with a view of building community resilience to climate change.

PACJA, being the most knowledgeable African civil society coalition in the context of climate policy influence, is working with key stakeholders in Tharaka Nithi, Embu and Kitui Counties to establish County “best fit’’ Climate Change policies in each the three Counties.

In implementing the project, PACJA’s role is to support community members and Natural Resource Management (NRM) groups to participate in and have influence over decision-making processes on NRM, agricultural development and climate change adaptation at community and County levels, in particular policy-making, planning and budget allocation as well as support partners to influence County and national government departments to develop climate-sensitive policies, laws, plans and budgets that support community resilience and adaptive capacity.

PACJA further strives to provide technical support to government officials at the County level to develop policies, legislation, plans and budgets that support climate change adaptation, climate-sensitive resilience building and natural resource management.

The Pan African Climate Justice Alliance is today (Friday) convening the Africa Regional Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) Consultative Workshop on the sidelines of the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. 

The workshop, which will be held at Sunland Hotel in the city, is aimed at facilitating the sharing of experiences and lessons learned from civil society organisations across Africa in the REDD+ Readiness processes.

The workshop was organised under an FCPF-funded project aimed at building the capacity of African Civil Society and Local Communities on REDD+ that is currently being implemented by PACJA.

The beneficiaries of the project are Southern CSO networks and organisations from the 18 FCPF eligible countries in Africa. PACJA, the CSOs Intermediary and implementing agency, is focusing national level activities on five countries namely: Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Togo and Mozambique and Madagascar.

This unique convergence with policymakers among other stakeholders during the AU Summit will accord an opportunity to an array of actors drawn from diverse backgrounds – women, youth, indigenous peoples, and smallholder farmers – to interrogate the extent to which the Paris Agreement is capable of delivering a stabilized climate system in such a time frame as to avoid irreversible global warming and the implications of the Paris Agreement for Africa.

Debates on such mechanisms like REDD+ have not yet found adequate space in high-level policy processes in African countries, and this is one of the rare opportunities to create awareness to the policymakers and other stakeholders from across Africa.

The FCPF regional meeting will, therefore, in addition to knowledge exchange, be a platform to expand conversations and broaden partnerships around REDD+ readiness processes while at the same time contributing towards the Africa Union Summit agenda. 

You can download the meeting's concept note here.

The Pan African Climate Justice Alliance, with funding support from Trocaire through the Irish Aid 2017-2021 Kenya programme, on Monday conducted a training on energy policies and adoption of available technologies in Mwingi, Kitui County.

The training that was held under the project “Enhancing Policy Change on Natural Resource Management and Climate Change at the National and County level’’ brought together 40 participants drawn from the Natural Resource Management (NRM) group and Community Disaster Management Rapid Response (CDMRR).

The groups were taken from Ngumi and Ngomeni Wards in Mwingi Sub-County in Kitui County. During the training, the participants were trained on to the existing policies at the county and national level. The participants also gained knowledge in the following critical topics: Energy Efficient Cooking stoves, Efficient Charcoal production (including Kitui county charcoal production regulation), Solar power, Biogas production, and Biomass.

The participants learned that by adopting clean energy technologies they would reap immense benefits including reduced time and cost needed to get energy services while protecting their local environment and subsequently, contributing to hunger and poverty reduction in their communities.

Speaking after the conclusion of the session, the participants noted that they are happy with the new knowledge and skills acquired during the training, adding that after the training they developed key policy message to address to their policymakers.   A similar training is ongoing in Ishira-Embu County.

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Civil Societies in Turkana County under the auspices of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance have submitted a raft of recommendations to the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources aimed at helping the local community to cope with the effects of climate change.

During the roundtable meeting that was organized by PACJA, the CSOs recommended that the county government designate an area for herding, adding that there was a need for a holistic approach to pasture management. They further urged that the county government introduces the practice of growing fodder in the county to boost their ability to feed their cattle.

They urged the county government to gazette more forest areas such as Lochoko to increase forest reserves and called for a tree planting component to be included in the county integrated development plan.

The local CSOs further called for the improvement of cooking stoves to make them more efficient thus reducing the felling of trees for firewood, adding that the initiative should be extended to the refugee camps as they too contribute to the felling of trees for firewood in the country.

The members noted the there was a need for the county government to control wetlands, water catchment areas and unsustainable tapping of water by small-scale farmers along River Turkwel.

On pollution, the CSOs noted that the county government would be required to ensure that Tullow Oil disposes of its waste safely so as not to affect the people and livestock in the surroundings.

They called on the county government to develop the county climate change policy and fast track the implementation of policies and Bills that have been put in place to safeguard the environment.

Saying that capacity building was important, the local civil society organisations urged the county government to conduct training through public platforms to teach the community about the importance of conserving their environment. They further called for the re-introduction of 4K clubs in schools to introduce the younger generation to issues of environmental management early.

The noted that the greening programme should be undertaken by all county departments and the communities, adding that there was a need to monitor the tree nurseries to ensure the growth of tree cover.

The members recommended that the county set up a climate change fund to help in mitigation actions, adding that the county should prioritize issues to do with the environment during the budget process. 

They highlighted the need for research in generating evidence on best practices in environmental conservation, adding that the county government should support community activities by providing resources and working with other partners to ensure the success of projects.

The meeting that took place on Thursday, November 16, 2017, was attended by 12 CSOs working within Turkana County.

The roundtable meeting was organized under the project “Improving Civil Society Engagements in Mainstreaming Climate Change at National and county level sectoral policies and programmes” that is currently being implemented by the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance in Baringo and Turkana.

To realize its objectives, PACJA is working in collaboration with relevant government ministries including the ministry of Environment & Natural Resources, Ministry of Water, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Energy and Private sector, as well as other civil society organisations both at the national and county level.

BONN, Germany (PAMACC News) - President Trump’s decision to pull the United States from the Paris climate agreement has been met with strong criticism from African civil society sounding a knell against countries or parties that follow in his footsteps.

African civil society under the leadership of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance, PACJA have called on countries “to make the ultimate choice either in support of people and planet or Donald Trump and profit”.

In a report, “CSO Demands to COP23” ,the civil society organizations stated unequivocally that the time of action in support of people and planet is now and not later. It cautioned that silence or inaction by any party(country) will be synonymous to backing Donald Trump’s pull out decision.

“Inaction by any party is equivalent to alliance with Donald Trump” the report stated.

They describe the pullout decision by Trump as an affront and travesty to climate justice, health of the planet and a threat to humanity in general and Africa in particular.

The report noted that Africa is feeling the pinch of climate change most with  alarm bells ringing already on a number of issues, which are the cause of great concern among the African civil society and African people in general;

The failure to close the finance gap, the inadequate current pledges to stay below 2°C; the delay in addressing ‘orphan issues’ under the Paris Agreement namely, common timeframes for NDCs, adjustment of existing NDCs, the response measures forum, recognition of developing countries’ adaptation efforts, guidance related to finance, setting a new collective goal on finance, developed countries’ biennial finance communications, and education, training and awareness; the slow pace and ambiguity in sequencing of work on the Paris Agreement Rule Book thus creating roadblocks in advancing the its formulation, among others,were short falls raised in the report.

The report hailed Fiji’s Presidency of COP23 which they said should be seen as symbolic, coming at a time island states have suffered enormously due to climate-related hurricanes and tornadoes. 

The report also called on delegates to fulfill demands: pursuant to Article 2 of the Paris Agreement with pledges to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels, all parties to practically commit beyond their current level of emission target in their NDCs to limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius this century and resubmit. 

It should be noted that President Trump’s withdrawal has galvanized criticism even from US citizens and companies as well as the International community.

Like African civil society, several of the largest U.S. companies — such as Apple, Exxon Mobile and Ford Motor Company have also pledged to either stick to the climate accord or continue cutting greenhouse gas emissions in the coming decades in clear departure from Trump’s position.

However African civil society organizations are still calling on those sitting on the fence to come out publicly and declare their position. “We believe that Trump has silent allies who may not be candid enough to come out and publicly denounce globally agreed pact which offers hope for the people,” the report said.

 According to PACJA's Secretary General, Mithika Mwenda, the report is in line with the action plan of African civil society to drive national governments to action. “Civil society has an important role to play in ongoing climate talks, working in tandem to push national governments to action,” he said.

“Leaders have the liberty to make their own decisions but civil society represents the voice of the grass root communities and this is very important,” Mithika said.

The African position paper by the African civil society also wants development of mitigation mechanism to consider lessons and experience from the Joint Implementation mechanism and Clean Development mechanism. 
“This should be backed by a centralized governance system of the mechanism for easy coordination, accountability and transparency” the report says.

It also demands that adaptation be crucial to protecting and promoting development gains, particularly in Africa and for support to be expedited to the least developed countries and other developing country Parties for the formulation of national adaptation plans.
 

 Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) Secretary General Mithika Mwenda has lauded United Nations Environment for the positive changes it has made since the elevation of the UNEP into a fully-fledged agency of the UN during the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.

 Mr Mwenda noted that PACJA has enjoyed a cordial working relationship with the Regional Office for Africa, adding that the relationship is now anchored in a memorandum of understanding where they have elaborated on key areas where they can add value to each other.

“This is incredibly laudable, and this should be a lesson which we would like to share with other CSOs. We don’t lament but work in the spirit of constructive engagement. Where we differ, we have laid down procedures for dispute resolution – but I can’t remember an incidence that took us to this level,” he said in a statement read on his behalf by Lisa Kamau.

“PACJA’s example is an illustration of how we can work with UNEP to do what the civil society is known for – policy influence. Through this partnership, we have been able to greatly influence climate change and broader environmental policies under the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN). PACJA has emerged as one of the most influential and visible environmental and sustainable platforms in Africa and globally,” he further stated.

His statement was read during a briefing workshop for NGOs on Engagement with UN Environment Assembly on Monday, September 25.

The meeting was co-organised by UNEP, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Transparency International and the National Council of NGOs and brought together NGOs, CSOs, and CBOs from across the country.

 

 

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