Mr. Keriako Tobiko, EGH, SC
Message from Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Environment and Forestry
I am pleased to invite you all in this year’s celebrations of world environment day whose theme is on ‘Only One Earth’
Slogan: Together we can protect it
In Kenya, World Environment Day 2022 provides an opportunity to reflect on achievements and challenges in delivering on Stockholm 1972. The day highlights the country’s efforts in restoring ecosystems through minimizing air pollution, chemical waste, managing solid waste and waste water, tackling climate change, biodiversity loss as well as making progress in the management of plastic pollution and marine litter. Kenya has adopted the slogan “Together we can protect it”.
Kenya like many developing nations must work urgently to tackle climate change and biodiversity crisis, while avoiding accelerating pollution and unsustainable behaviors. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the world is still heading for a temperature rise of near 3°C this century – far beyond the Paris Agreement goals of limiting global warming to well below 2°C and pursuing 1.5°C.
Even though Kenya contributes less than 0.1 percent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions annually, heat, drought and floods are impacting Kenyans. Kenya is most vulnerable to climate change since the key drivers of the economy (agriculture, livestock, tourism, forestry, and fisheries) are climate-sensitive. Hence climate change continues to adversely impact Kenya’s socio-economic sectors.
Kenya made great strides in environmental sustainability as seen in articles 42, 69 and 70 of the Constitution of Kenya 2010, which stipulates the people’s right for a clean and healthy environment. Article 43 gives the right to clean and safe drinking water for all in adequate quantities, accessible and adequate housing and reasonable standards of sanitation. Article 69 further obligates the State to work to achieve and maintain a tree cover of at least ten per cent of the land area.
Addressing common drivers – the common thread that runs through this triple planetary crisis namely Climate change, Pollution and Biodiversity loss is unsustainable production and consumption. Efforts are needed to reverse the relentless and unlimited extraction of resources from the earth, the production of waste and pollution, the continued use of fossil fuels, habitat encroachment, and other unsustainable patterns of production and consumption, all of which are having a devastating impact on the natural world, propelling climate change, destroying nature, and raising pollution levels.
I am happy to note that the country through my Ministry of Environment and Forestry has made strides in this endeavor of a clean, healthy and sustainable environment and achieving the Vision 2030. The Ministry has initiated programs which tackle the climate, biodiversity crisis and pollution.
This year’s national World Environment Day celebrations will be held at the Dedan Kimathi University of Technology in Nyeri County I call for the people of Nyeri and the public in general to take practical steps to tackle climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution in Kenya, in recognition of the mutual benefit for nature and people.
Among the planned buildup activities to mark the World Environment Day include:
- High Level Panel Discussion at National Museums of Kenya , 26th May 2022
- Clean up at Mweiga Township 31st June 2022
- WED in Schools (Tree Planting in Schools) , 2nd June 2022
- Bamboo Tree planting at Ragati River- Karatina 3rd June 2022
- Public Lecture – Dedan Kimathi University of technology Nyeri, 3rd June 2022
- Climate Change Adaptation Village and Tree Planting – Thome village 4th June 2022
- Community Forum at Lechugu Secondary School, 4th June 2022
- National celebrations at Dedan Kimathi University of Technology 6th Monday June 2022
This therefore, is an opportunity for every Kenyan to reflect on the life-link nature gives us and encourage communities to embrace and preserve the diversity of life which provides us with the food, fuel, medicine and other essentials for current and future human wellbeing. I wish to call upon all relevant government ministries, departments, agencies, County Governments and the people of Kenya to embrace our slogan ‘Only One Earth’ ‘ Together we can protect it”, so as to secure a better future on a healthy planet.
Let me encourage all our partners and stakeholders to walk the journey of restoring our Planet Earth so that it continues supporting livelihoods of millions of people.