23 January 2019

Kenya Prepares Stage for Global Environmental Talks

Nairobi — Environment Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko has decried the manner in which the environment sector despite its importance and centrality in sustainable development.

Tobiko told a meeting of the negotiators of the Sixth Global Environmental Outlook (GEO-6) report that global leaders have ignored to prioritized the environment sector as an area at national and global spheres in terms of resource allocation and policy priority.

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"The environment is life and contributes to economic development and livelihoods. Environment has a direct correlation to health, water resources, energy, agriculture, food security as well as national, international and global security," he told

The four day meeting whose theme is "Healthy Planets, Healthy People" kicked off at UN Environment headquarters in Nairobi and is attended by over 100 delegates from United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) member states.

The outcome of the negotiations on GEO 6 will be a subject of discussion during the Fourth Session of United Nations Environmental Assembly (UNEA 4) to be held in Nairobi from March 11 to 15, 2019.

In addition, the CS said there is a disconnect between science, policy and action not that there are too many scientific reports that have not been translated into concrete action.

"Policies should be based both on science and empirical data, but, oftentimes policies are made on the basis of political convenience and sometimes on vested interests with no reference to science."

"For instance two reports and policy documents that have been disregarded at global multilateral negotiations are the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) special report on the impact of global warming of 1.5 degree centigrade and the UN Environment Emissions Gap Report at COP 24 in Katowice, Poland, "the CS noted

He regretted that even where action has been taken there are no tools or mechanism to monitor and measure impact and effectiveness.

"A wealth of knowledge is at risk of disappearing because it is disregarded or ignored by scientists and policy makers. This knowledge has further not been documented neither is it being passed on by the older to the younger generation thus subjecting it to the danger of extinction," the CS explained.

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