The theme Innovative solutions, covering policies, financing, technologies, partnerships and multi-stakeholder processes – are key both to solving many environmental challenges, as well as accelerating sustainable development more generally. This recognition of the need of transformative change to support Agenda 2030, already highlighted in at the 2nd and 3rd sessions of the UN Environment Assembly, directly underpins the choice of the overarching theme for the fourth session of the Environment Assembly by Member States in Nairobi in March 2019.
The UNEA IV will be preceded by the Global Major Groups and Stakeholders Forum (GMGSF) which will take place on 7th -8th March, 2019. This will forum facilitates Major Groups and Stakeholders’ participation in the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) of UNEP and associated meetings. This year’s forum is being facilitated by PACJA alongside the Civil Society Unit of UNEP.
Accredited Major Groups to United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) of UNEP are automatically invited to the Global Major Groups and Stakeholders Forum (GMGSF). During the Regional Consultative Meetings (RCMs), Major Groups’ organisations select representatives of each of the six UNEP regions which cover the entire globe.
The world’s first dhow made out of recycled plastic has set sail from Lamu in Kenya to Zanzibar. Named Flipflopi, the dhow is made from plastic trash which was collected from the Kenyan coastal towns and beaches. The 14 day trip will see the dhow make stops along the way to raise awareness about the 12 million tonnes of plastic waste being dumped in the ocean every year.
According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), each year more than 8 million tonnes of plastic ends up in the oceans, wreaking havoc on marine wildlife, fisheries and tourism, and costing at least $8 billion in damage to marine ecosystems. Up to 80 per cent of all litter in our oceans is made of plastic.
Waste plastics, mainly from Lamu’s beaches, were used to construct the entire boat. The keel, ribs and structural elements are all made from recycled plastic including bottles and bags, whilst the hull and decking is covered completely by re-purposed flip-flops
Backed by UNEP Clean Seas Initiative, the Flipflopi sets sail on the first overseas expedition, travelling 500 Kms to raise awareness about marine plastic pollution. The Flipflopi team will also be visiting schools, communities and government officials along the way sharing solutions and changing mindsets.
The Flipflopi is a project run by a volunteer-group that was founded in 2016 by one Ben Morison who was inspired to come up with the idea after witnessing the shocking quantities of plastic on Kenya’s beaches
During the Blue Economy Conference, hosted by Kenya in November 2018, governments committed to protect oceans, seas, lakes and rivers. The FlipFlopi-Clean Seas Expedition comes a month before the next UN Environment Assembly in which more than 150 ministers of environment will gather in Nairobi
The team has been invited to participate in the United Nations Environment Assembly in Nairobi due to take place on the 11th to 15th March and will set an example of what is possible when you think about plastic as re-usable, part of a circular rather than linear economy.
PACJA and the Kenya Industrial Estates (KIE) are at advanced stages of exploring possible areas of collaboration between KIE and PACJA aimed at supporting SMEs in Kenya to build their resilience to climate change and tap into opportunities in the evolving green economic growth. KIE is a Kenyan parastatal mandated to promote entrepreneurship by financing, incubating and facilitating the development of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
Most SMEs in Kenya use inefficient production systems characterized by limited infrastructure, old machinery, power outages, high power tariffs and frequent water shortages, all occasioned by climate change. These impact on the SMEs’ supply chains and overall productivity.
This necessitates that SMEs be equipped with skills to assess, monitor and adapt to climate-related risks. Additionally, supporting the SMEs to access information, technology and innovation increases their ability to prepare for future adaptation response. The need for SMEs to move to low carbon pathways and embrace green economy provides them with opportunities to produce adaptation products and services.
This collaboration between KIE and PACJA offers opportunity for the two to work with SMEs in selected counties in Kenya. Establishment of innovation and incubation hubs will be fundamental for new business models that will address transition risks and challenges in accessing green finance by the SMEs. This was underscored in a meeting between PACJA’s executive director Mr. Mithika Mwenda and the Managing Director of the Kenya Industrial Estates (KIE), Dr. Parma Ole Nakirae.
As a result of this collaboration, KIE will focus on green economy by mainstreaming climate change into their activities and lining SMEs to access Global Environmental fund and Climate Change funding.
PACJA and Climate pal led stakeholders in a workshop to share views on the project design, social and environmental impacts of an energy-efficient cook-stove project called Hifadhi – Livelihoods Cook-Stove and tree planting Project, which was developed under Gold standards and is being implemented by Climate Pal, in partnership with the Livelihoods Fund. The project is aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions; mitigating climate change and deforestation. Improved Hifadhi cook stoves and tree seedlings will be provided to 60,000 local households in different sub counties in Tharaka Nithi.
This workshop which was held on Tuesday, 15 January 2019 in Tharaka Nithi county is one among the many successes from the joint project: Resilience and Climate Change Adaptation currently being implemented in Tharaka Nithi by Trocaire, PACJA and CARITAS of the catholic Diocese of Meru. The stake holders shared views and comments on the project design, social and environmental impacts to assist in the successful implementation of the project.
Benefits of the Hifadhi Cook Stove
The Hifadhi Cook Stove uses approximately 60% less fuel compared to the traditional three-stone stoves. Since less wood will be needed, less trees will be cut thereby saving time and money on wood collection. This will in turn provide more efficient and healthier cooking methods, reduce smoke emissions and protect the forests. Women and youth will be empowered to constructively use their saved time on other constructive activities. Training will be done to enlighten the communities on tree planting, forest conservation, climate change and environmental conservation.
Benefits of Tree planting
The project also encourages families to create woodlots or food forests through the distribution of a minimum of 3 seedlings per house hold. This is aimed at creating sufficient wood-fuel to fulfil household needs, provide alternative sources of income and conserve the nearby forests and river lines.
Within the month of Jan 2019, similar workshops will be replicated at all sub counties to create more awareness. The project will be monitored and evaluated annually in order to assess the user satisfaction and the environmental friendliness of the stove.
Women key in mitigation and adaptation to climate change
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