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CSOs urged to take environment issues seriously

Civil Society Organisations have been encouraged to shift focus to matters of environment to ensure they are actively engaged in discussions on the same in the country.

Speaking during a briefing workshop for NGOs and CSOs on Engagement with UN Environment Assembly that was organized by the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance, Transparency International, UNEP, Friedrich Ebert Stifftung, and the NGO Council, Dr Alice Oluoko-Odingo said it is important for CSOs to have someone responsible for environment issues in their organiations.

We can have an environmental parliament in Kenya for CSOs so that we can articulate our issues so as to influence the agenda,” she said.

“It is time CSOs take environmental issues seriously and give a small budget towards the same,” she added.

The University of Nairobi Lecturer encouraged CSOs to be represented in UN Environment meetings by people who understand the science and language of the discussions, saying such meetings are usually highly technical and scientific.

“Meetings in UN Environment are scientific and those brought here should understand the context, discussions, and way forward. We need to build capacity among ourselves. UN Environment doesn’t give finances but they can give capacity building training,” she noted.

 She added that we need science more than before to carry out our operations and urged the organisations operating at the grassroots to take the knowledge to the grassroots and ensure the population incorporates best practices.

The meeting that was held at the United Nations office in Nairobi on Monday brought together civil society organisations and community-based organisations from across the country.

The objective of the meeting was to build the capacity of local NGOs and CSOs to engage with UN Environment.

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Lisa Kamau
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