Conference on ‘greening Kenya’ long overdue


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The 25th session of the Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum of United Nations Environment Programme started on Monday in Nairobi.

The sessions will address climate issues by ‘promoting and prompting initiatives to monitor and reduce impacts on the environment, such as gas emissions, waste and water usage’.

Implementation of these would trigger ‘Green Growth’ to address some of Kenya’s most urgent environmental challenges.

Kenya is already experiencing shrinking water points, plunder of water catchment areas and radical shift in climate patterns that have led to drought, desertification and dwindling economic opportunities.

The blame lies in the increasing intertwining of the effects of unbridled globalisation without regard to negative impact on the environment.

Globalisation has led to increased consumerism, scramble for natural resources like oil, fresh water, metals, fish resources and now even arable land by emerging economic powers.

Scramble for Africa

This unprecedented scramble for resources is increasingly being felt. There has been a marked shrinking of ecological space due to environmental degradation. And at this point, globalisation must be redefined to factor in environmental concerns through cleaner technologies, trade liberalisation and above all, sustainable development.

If better governance, focus on Millennium Development Goals, climate change concerns and action on diseases that threaten to wipe out populations are integrated into development plans, a lot can be achieved.

If these were addressed, there would be better use and sharing of increasingly finite resources, fewer displacements, reduced crime, disease and a marked improvement in living standards.

 

Then only will Proclamation2 of the Declaration of the UN in Stockholm in 1972 become a reality. It states thus: ‘The protection and improvement of the human environment is a major issue which affects the well-being of peoples and economic development throughout the world; it is the urgent desire of the peoples of the whole world and the duty of all Governments.’

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