Kenya

Make peace with nature

Make peace with nature

Valerie Adhiambo (left) and Charity Njeri, both Grade 6 pupils at Ronald Ngala Primary School, plant a tree seedling on the banks of Nairobi River on June 5, 2021 to mark the World Environment Day.

Photo credit: Francis Nderitu | Nation Media Group

It is time we increased awareness and action for the environment as it affects all facets of our lives. Surface temperatures have increased, rainfall patterns have changed and Kenya’s economy is dependent on climate-sensitive sectors such as agriculture, water, energy, wildlife and tourism. The increasing weather-related disasters is a security threat, causing conflict over natural resources.

The theme for this year’s World Environment Day, marked on June 5, is “Ecosystem restoration with a focus on resetting our relation with nature”. We must love and care for nature to sustain ourselves, taking personal responsibility through deliberate actions like planting and nurturing trees, sustainable food production, not littering, recycling and reusing plastics and saving water and electricity.

Besides, the 26th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP26) in the United Kingdom in November will bring together parties to accelerate action towards the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change goals. Countries will announce their plans to limit global warming to combat climate change and its effects.

Impact of climate change

The enactment of the Climate Change Act 2016 and the ongoing implementation of the National Climate Action Plan 2018-2022 that aims to further Kenya’s sustainable development are a good sign, as is the ambitious ongoing plan to plant 1.8 billion trees to achieve a forest cover of 10 per cent.

As the impact of climate change becomes increasingly evident, work must be scaled up towards protecting and restoring ecosystems to safeguard communities and natural habitats. Other needed interventions are reliable early warning systems, resilient infrastructure and agriculture. Efforts must be made for efficient waste management with a focus on recycling and cleaning of rivers, and increased and sustained investment in renewable energy.

Efforts must encompass collaboration between governments and other actors. Kenya must commit adequate resources for climate financing, supplemented by donors and international financiers.

Ms Muathe is a communications specialist @Wamuathe