Kenya pledges to restore ecosystems degraded by climate change

NAIROBI (Xinhua), June 5 – Kenya marked World Environment Day on Wednesday with a pledge to restore the nation’s degraded ecosystems and landscapes, as it becomes more vulnerable to climate changes.

Soipan Tuya, cabinet secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Forestry, who led Kenya in celebrating World Environment Day at Embu, 125 km northeast from Nairobi, Kenya’s Capital, said that climate change continues negatively impacting Kenya’s socioeconomic sector.

Climate change is a threat to our livelihoods because agriculture, livestock production, tourism, forestry, and fisheries are key drivers in our economy. She said that the challenge threatened the livelihoods and survival of millions of Kenyans. But there is reason to hope. The key to turning this tide is land restoration. “Each investment in restoration has a significant return in terms of improved eco-system services.”

Tuya stated that Kenya is committed to restoring degraded ecosystems and landscapes, in accordance with its 10-year National Landscape and Ecosystem Restoration Strategy. The anchor framework of the strategy is a 15 billion tree-growing programme by 2032.

She said that the strategy aims to restore 10,6 million hectares degraded landscapes and eco-systems, increase tree cover in the country by 17,8 percent, enhance land management practices through sustainable land use, improve governance of landscapes and ecosystems with robust policy, regulatory, and institutional frameworks, and encourage private investment in environmental conservation.

This year’s theme was “Land Restoration and Desertification and Building Drought Resistant”, which Tuya said reflected Kenya’s unwavering commitment to safeguarding Kenya’s precious natural resources over the years, for the benefit of present and future generations.

Tuya noted that Kenya acknowledges resolutions adopted by United Nations General Assembly regarding the implementation UN Convention to Combat Desertification in countries suffering from severe drought and desertification in particular in Africa.

She said: “These resolutions demonstrate the global recognition and acknowledgement of the challenges that countries like Kenya face, and the need to make concerted efforts in order to overcome them.”

Festus Ng’eno, principal secretary at the State Department of Environment and Climate Change said Kenya will continue to improve its resilience.

He said: “By fostering resilient through integrated approaches to climate change adaptation, natural resource management and disaster risk, we can build an even more sustainable and prosperous world for everyone.”

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