Turning drylands into highlands

No rain and drought in Nyeri county has caused the drying of maize

Is it possible to turn highlands into high deserts, or have drylands in the highlands? Think about it. Where would you classify Mukurweini Sub-county in Nyeri County, drylands/semi-arid or high potential area? If you are wondering all about these, I might have answered sooner than later. I was sailing in the same boat as you before World Desertification and Drought 2022 was held at Giathugu Vocational Institute along Kiahungu,
Kabuta-Murang’a road and which is on top of one
of the intertwined ridges of Mukurweini. It is one of
the highest ridges in the area for from there you can
have a panoramic view of almost the entire south-western
and southeastern part of Nyeri County as well as
the northern part of Murang’a County. “Surely, how did
the organizer choose Mukurweini instead of Kieni
which is traditionally known as dryland ever since?”
my colleagues asked me. The organizer had a transport
logistics problem and our office had the privilege of
arriving at the venue over an hour earlier than the
former. I had no idea how we could have such an
event in a place full of trees and producing so much
food even as the country experiences a very short-
long rain season.

WDCD 2022 was organized by the County
Government of Nyeri in conjunction with Kenya Forest Service, Upper Tana Nairobi Water Fund, Nyeri Water and Sanitation Company Limited, and the local Community-Based Organisations among others. NEMA Nyeri County office, Kenya Forestry Research Institute and Kenya Red Cross Society among other partners attended the event. The question asked at the beginning of this write-
up was answered by the Director-Water, Irrigation,
Environment, and Climate Change Ms. Yvonne Mathenge whose Department organized the event. To everyone’s surprise, she gave some background information on Mukurewini Sub-county as traditional dryland. It concurred with here since I have been to the lower parts of the sub-county bordering Kirinyaga and lower Murang’a county towards Sagana areas.
The area near Sagana River although hilly is very fragile
and even though trees are removed and over-cultivation done, the land can become unproductive. In light of this, it is possible to turn drylands into high potential lands
but sadly it is very possible to turn high potential and
food basket lands into arid lands thanks to the climate
change phenomena, population increase, and over-grazing
. Take care of the bread baskets and upgrade
drylands into food baskets

Desertification and Drought Day Commemorations

CS Environment and Forestry, Keriako Tobiko (C ) watering a tree with NEMA Board members Vice Chairperson, Dr. Lul Abdiwahid (2nd R) (L_R), Samuel Nyangeso, Charles Mulila and DG Mamo B. Mamo, EBS

 

By Samwel Irungu

Over 2 million hectares of land has been invaded by Prosopis Juliflora commonly known as
Mathenge and the plant is spreading at a rate
of 15% per year. It has become national threat.
Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Keriako
Tobiko said this during Desertification and Drought
Day national celebrations held on 17th June at Eldume
Primary School in Baringo County.
The CS stated that the government has developed
a National Strategy and Action Plan as the solution
to Prosopis which lies in using it for production of
charcoal among other uses. He advised that it must
be done in accordance with the gazetted regulations.
Principal Secretary Dr. Chris Kiptoo said according
to the National Forest Resources Assessment Report
2021, Baringo County is number 37 with a forest cover
of 4.6% far below the recommended level.
The PS revealed the Ministry has identified 100 schools
in Baringo County to benefit from seed distribution
programme where they will receive 0.8 metric tonnes
of seeds to grow tree seedlings.
The Governor H.E Stanely Kiptis confirmed that County Government of Baringo has worked closely with the National Environment Management Authority to prepare a Baringo County Environment Action Plan. This important document has identified the natural resources in the County, their utilization and conservation status, and analyzed the exploitation trends. The Governor urged the locals to embrace the strategy by the Government to ensure that Mathenge benefits them.

The Vice Chairperson, NEMA Board of management, Dr. Lul Abdiwahid asserted that the Authority has examined land use patterns in the County to determine their impact on the quality and quantity of natural resources. Further, NEMA in collaboration with the County Government of Baringo has prepared a status of the environment report for the county. This report gives a snapshot of the status and health of the natural environment and its inherent resources in the County. She added that NEMA has over the years promoted awareness of the dangers of desertification and the appropriate use of its dry land resources. The Authority supports efforts to combat this and will continue offering regulatory and capacity-building support and any other form of support within its reach, to the County Government of Baringo and other counties, to ensure that the environment is well managed for all Kenyans. NEMA Director General, Mamo B. Mamo, EBS affirmed that the goal of Desertification and Drought Day is to demonstrate that investing in healthy land as part of a green recovery is a smart economic decision not just in terms of creating jobs and rebuilding livelihoods, but in terms of insulating economies against future crises caused by climate change, nature loss, and drought. He added that the current economic challenges that we are facing have reinforced how much we need our forests, drylands, wetlands, and other land ecosystems for food, for the green economy, for eco-tourism, and as a buffer against extreme climate events. Governor Stanley Kiptis highlighted that 75% of Baringo County is ASAL and it is moving to 80% due to the effects of climate change thanking the national government and its state agencies for supporting programs geared towards addressing desertification in the County.
Several other leaders present during the event
included Principal Secretary ASALs, Micah Powon, Baringo County Commissioner, Mr Abdirisack Jaldesa, Deputy Governor Jacob Chepkwony, Baringo South MP, Charles Kamuren, former NHIF CEO, Simeon Kirgotty, board members and CEOs of SAGAs under the Ministry among others. The theme for this year’s celebrations was-Rising up from drought together which raises awareness on the need to act on the spreading of drought and desertification in the world.

Desertification and Drought Day 17 June 2022.

Desertification and Drought Day will be commemorated on 17 June 2022 at Eldume Primary School, Baringo County. The theme for the event is “Rising up from drought together.

The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification is the global voice for land. We champion healthy, productive and accessible land for all

Drought is one of the most destructive natural disasters in terms of the loss of life, arising from impacts, such as widescale crop failure, wildfires and water stress exacerbated by land degradation and climate change

Due to INSATIABLE and UNSUSTAINABLE economic activities, over 300 million hectares of useful land globally could be lost by 2050 according to @UNCCD

As we commemorate Desertification & Drought Day, humanity must take URGENT ACTION and PROTECT LAND.

Baringo County will host this year’s Desertification and Drought Day. The County is prone to perennial droughts negatively impacting population’s livelihoods. The theme, “Rising up from drought together” seeks to empower Communities on how to prevent desertification and drought.

Drought is one of the most destructive natural disasters in terms of human life loss arising from crop failure and water stress exacerbated by land degradation and climate change. In Kenya, the drought continues to bite in 17 out of the 23 ASAL Counties.

Droughts have been part of human and natural systems, but what we are experiencing now is much worse, largely due to human activity. By 2050, it may affect ¾ of the world’s population. The day aims at raising awareness on how to counter drought & desertification.

Desertification and Drought Day will be marked on 17 June 2022. The national observance of the event will take place at Eldume Primary School, Baringo County. The theme for the event is “Rising up from drought together.”  NEMA is spearheading the national preparations

Greening Chalbi Desert

NEMA, partners embark on a plan to green Chalbi desert during the Desertification and Drought Day celebrations at Korolle Oasis

The World Desertification and Drought is a United Nations observance celebrated each year on 17 June. Its purpose is to raise awareness of the presence of desertification and drought, highlighting methods of preventing desertification and recovering from drought. In Kenya, the event was celebrated at Korolle Oasis in Chalbi Desert, Marsabit County. The desert covers an area of 100,000 kilometer square. The theme for the event was, ‘Restoration, Land, Recovery’ and the clarion call was greening Chalbi desert. Korolle Oasis is in the middle of Chalbi Desert, Marsabit County which acts as a watering point where Rendille, Gabra and Borana come to water their animals.
“We came up with a structure, called Environmental Management Committees, composed of local communities and
government agencies working together.We have EMCs around the forest because communities own this resource,” NEMA Director General, Mamo B. Mamo. He added that, “There are indications that the desert is moving from where it was. We are putting up a green wall to ensure it doesn’t spread further causing human suffering.
Human activities are leading to the rapid spread of the desert compared to natural causes. It is a big challenge to plant trees in ASAL areas. What we have been sensitizing people on is to do local seed collection. The native species like acacia do very well here.” The Authority and partners planted over 10,000 trees at Kargi Centre and Korolle
Oasis during the event. The NEMA Director General accompanied by CEO Wild Wide Fund, Mr. Mohamed
Awer also visited Lake Paradise in Marsabit Forest to assess its conservation status, as build up towards.

The Chalbi Desert is a real gem, it is located in Marsabit County, east of the famous Lake Turkana (the largest de-sert lake in Kenya), spreading to the Ethiopian border. Covering an area of 100.000 kilometer square, the Chalbi Desert is one of the hottest and arid places in Kenya.

Interesting Facts about Chalbi Desert Chalbi Desert is a stretch of coarse sand spiced up with pure rocks and immense clay where there are al-so ashgray ridges and broken clusters of tiny huts.
There are pans of salt in the desert which is picked up by many pastoralists and used as a natural animal’s salt
lick.
The desert is surrounded by volcanic hills that create a magical panorama with only selected animals and
vegetation that can withstand hostile climates in the entire Sub-Saharan regions.
The southern part of the desert is home to the Rendille while the eastern part which is towards the Ethiopian
border is home to the Gabbra People.
It’s believed that there was a lake in the Chalbi Desert that has dried up a thousand years ago, therefore it was
named the Chalbi Desert which means bare and salty.
Climate
Chalbi Desert is the hottest and most arid area in Kenya Average daytime temperatures range from 109 F (43 C)
to 115 F (46 C) degrees whereas the temperature drops to around 57-59 F (14 -15 C) degrees at night.
The area experiences two dry seasons and two rainy seasons. The long-dry season takes place from July to
October, and the short dry season is in January and Feb-ruary with parts of March.
The long rainy season occurs in April and May through parts of June while the short one happens in November
and December.

Things to Do in Chalbi Desert
1- Desert Safari
Chalbi Desert has a lot to offer in picturesque sceneries and tranquil oases. While being there, enjoy a perfect
short drive desert safari. There are excellent for sand dunes for racing and surfing.
2- Camel Ride ( the Ship of the Desert)
Exploring the desert on the back of a camel is quite im-pressive and enjoyable. It is an ideal way to enjoy the
de-sert and to know your Country and the people. It is a unique lifetime experience.
3- Culture Tour
A desert Safari in Chalbi Desert gives visitors the oppor-tunity to interact with local communities like
the Rendille, Gabbra, Turkana, Samburu, and others. It is a way to ex-plore their culture and to know their
traditions and lifestyle

World Desertification and Drought Day 2021

The World Desertification and Drought is a United Nations observance celebrated each year on 17 June. Its purpose is to raise awareness of the presence of desertification and drought, highlighting methods of preventing desertification and recovering from drought.

In Kenya, the event was celebrated at Korolle Oasis in Chalbi Desert, Marsabit County. The desert covers an area of 100,000 kilometer square. The theme for the event was, ‘Restoration, Land, Recovery and the clarion call was greening Chalbi desert.

Korolle Oasis is in the middle of Chalbi Desert, Marsabit County which acts as a watering point where Rendille, Gabra and Borana come to water their animals.

Desertification and DroughtDay commemoration  at Korolle Oasis, Marsabit County.

“We came up with a structure, called Environmental Management Committees, composed of local communities and government agencies working together. We have EMCs around the forest because communities own this resource,” NEMA Director General, Mamo B. Mamo.

He added that, “There are indications that the desert is moving from where it was. We are putting up a green wall to ensure it doesn’t spread further causing human suffering. Human activities are leading to the rapid spread of the desert compared to natural causes. It is a big challenge to plant trees in ASAL areas. What we have been sensitizing people on is to do local seed collection. The native species like acacia do very well here.”

The Authority and partners planted over 10,000 trees at Kargi Centre and Korolle Oasis during the event.

The NEMA Director General accompanied by CEO Wild Wide Fund, Mr. Mohamed Awer also visited Lake Paradise in Marsabit Forest to assess its conservation status, as build up towards.

The event was attended by the Governor and Senator Marsabit County Mohamed Mahmud and Godana Hargura respectively, CAS Ministry of Environment and Forestry who represented the Environment CS, Chairman Nema, Director General, Ambassadors, MPs among host of other leaders.

While making his remarks, NEMA Chairman John Konchellah noted that the Authority and partners are working on creating a greenbelt along the desert. He added that the desert offers an ample place for sporting activities as they continue to undertake environmental restoration of the degraded area. Achievement of land neutrality is possible in the country.

During the event, the Authority also launched the Environmental Performance Index for Marsabit County which indicates the status of environment in the County specifically the tree cover. The guests expressed the need to manage deserts and prevent the expansion of the desert into the neighbourhoods. This includes management of the oasis to reduce the impact of overgrazing on the oasis.

The Director General Mamo B. Mamo noted that NEMA and county Government of Marsabit will undertake desilting of the Oasis through Environmental Management Committee started in the county to look into the environmental issues. Build the capacity of the traditional institutions to manage their resources. Take responsibility for your Environment as an individual-collect your own waste.

NEMA and partners have planted over 10,000 trees at Kargi and Korolle Oasis to mark celebration of Desertification And Drought Day

The Authority wish to thank partners and stakeholders for contributing financially or in kind towards the event. The parners includes; UNDP, World Vision, Kenya Forest Service, Nature Kenya, Kenya Forestry Research Institute, Kenya Redcross Society, Equity Bank, KenGen, WWF, NECC, Taifa loaf, Netfund, Concern Worldwide,USAID, British High Commission, Mercy Corps, Kenya Water Towers Agency, Nyayo Tea Zones, Office of Attorney General, County Government of Marsabit and the Ministry of Environment and Forestry.

………………………………………………………………………………………..

The 2021 Desertification and Drought Day to be held on 17 June will focus on turning degraded land into healthy land. Restoring degraded land brings economic resilience, creates jobs, raises incomes and increases food security. It helps biodiversity to recover. It locks away the atmospheric carbon warming the Earth, slowing climate change. It can also lessen the impacts of climate change and underpin a green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brief on Chalbi Desert

The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) will work with the Ministry of Environment (MINAE) of Costa Rica, the host of the global observance, to encourage households, communities, private sector and countries to have a better relationship with nature as we recover from COVID-19.

Nearly three quarters of the Earth’s ice-free land has been altered by humans to meet an ever-growing demand for food, raw materials, highways and homes. Fixing damaged ecosystems mitigates against climate change and bolsters nature’s defences against disasters and extreme weather events such as wildfires, droughts, floods, and sand and dust storms. Restoring natural landscapes reduces close contact between wildlife and human settlements, creating a natural buffer against zoonotic diseases.

Avoiding, slowing and reversing the loss of productive land and natural ecosystems now is both urgent and important for a swift recovery from the pandemic and for guaranteeing the long-term survival of people and the planet.

Land restoration can contribute greatly to post-COVID19 economic recovery. Investing in land restoration creates jobs and generates economic benefits, and could provide livelihoods at a time when hundreds of millions of jobs are being lost.

Date: 17th June 2021

Venue: Marsabit County

Venue: Korolle Oasis, Marsabit County

“Smart land-based restoration initiatives would be particularly helpful for women and youth, who are often the last to receive help in times of crises. As we enter the UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration, we have a real chance to build back better from the COVID-19 pandemic. If countries can restore the nearly 800 million hectares of degraded land they have pledged to restore by 2030, we can safeguard humanity and our planet from the looming danger,” adds Mr. Thiaw.

The COVID19 pandemic has reinforced just how much we need our forests, drylands, wetlands and other land ecosystems: for food, for the green economy, for eco-tourism, as a buffer against extreme climate events. In Costa Rica, our unique tropical forests are a limited and precious natural resource that we cannot neglect. On Desertification and Drought Day, I urge us all to push hard to restore our lands. We all have a role to play, because we all have a stake in our planet’s future.

— Andrea Meza, Minister of Environment and Energy of Costa Rica

To find out how to organize a Desertification and Drought Day event or learn what you can do to help prevent land degradation and desertification, visit this page for frequent updates and download the campaign materials from the menu on your right. Please submit your event with photos to DDD2021@unccd.int and we will feature it on our website!

You can also follow and support the campaign on social media using these hashtags: #DesertificationAndDroughtDay #RestorationLandRecovery

About Desertification and Drought Day

Desertification and Drought Day – known as the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought before 2020 – is observed every year to promote public awareness of international efforts to combat desertification. The day is a unique moment to remind everyone that reversing land degradation is achievable through problem-solving, strong community involvement and co-operation at all levels.

In 2021, the goal of Desertification and Drought Day is to demonstrate that investing in healthy land as part of a green recovery is a smart economic decision – not just in terms of creating jobs and rebuilding livelihoods, but in terms of insulating economies against future crises caused by climate change and nature loss, and in accelerating progress on all 17 Sustainable Development Goals as we recover from COVID-19

BRIEF ABOUT WDD

Tree planting at Kargi health Centre as a build up towards Desertification And Drought Day  at Korolle Oasis, Chalbi Desert, Marsabit County. Greening Chalbi Desert

The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification was adopted on 17th of June 1994 and came into force in 24th of December 1996 under which the World Desertification and Drought Day is observed globally.

  • The convention aims at combating desertification and mitigate the effects of drought in the countries affected through effective action at all levels supported by international cooperation and partnership arrangements in the framework of an integrated approach to help achieve sustainable development.
  • The World Desertification and Drought Day (WDDD) formerly World Day to Combat Desertification (WDCD) is observed on 17th June each year as required under the United Nations Convection to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) which Kenya signed in 1994 and ratified in 1997.
  • Kenya has observed this day since 1995 to promote public awareness relating to international cooperation to combat desertification, land degradation and mitigate effects of drought mainly in ASAL counties the last 2 years in Kajiado and Makueni counties respectively
  • The UNCCD is domesticated at the country level through the development and implementation of the National Action Programme (NAP) guided by the UNCCD Secretariat.
  • Kenya developed its first NAP in 2002. The 2nd NAP (2015-2015) was prepared to align it to the UNCCD Ten Year Strategy 2008-2018 which has 5 operational objectives namely: advocacy, awareness-raising and education; policy framework; science, technology and knowledge; capacity building; financing and technology transfer.
  • These objectives are the cornerstone on which all policy and instructional frameworks are supposed to anchor their strategies to address DLDD issues
  • The commemoration of the day is indeed important for the country as it helps us reflects on the many challenges facing us in our effort to combat desertification, land degradation and mitigate effects of drought (DLDD).
  • We look at specific ways that local communities can build resilience against current multi-fold development challenges through sustainable land management practices.
  • We need to remind everyone of the importance of land and its role in producing food, fible, feed and generating local employment, as well as its ability to add to the sustainability, stability and security of vulnerable communities
  • This year’s Theme and Slogan “F Feed. Fibre. sustainable production and consumption” focuses on changing public attitudes to the leading drivers of desertification and land degradation: humanity’s relentless production and consumption.
  • As populations become larger, wealthier and more urban, there is far greater demand for land to provide food, animal feed and fibre(for clothing). Meanwhile, the health and productivity of existing arable land is declining, worsened by climate change.
  • To have enough productive land to meet the demands of ten billion people by 2050, lifestyles need to change. Desertification and Drought Day seeks to educate individuals on how to reduce their personal impact.
  • The official global event will take place in Seoul, Republic of Korea, while the Kenya event will be at Kargi, Loiyangalani Subcounty of Marsabit County The County is largely an arid/semi-arid and experiences food insecurity and poverty due to persistent drought and inadequate adaptation strategies and this needs to be emphasized during this very important event.
  • The preparatory process has been largely virtual through zoom meetings (due to Corona virus pandemic) of the national steering committee while activities on the ground started a few weeks ago through tree planting and awareness creation. The members of this committee are appreciated for the efforts in making this day’s commemoration a success. The partners who have also chipped in with resources to support the event need to be appreciated too.
  • At the global level the end result is that land is being converted and degraded at unstainable rates, damaging production, ecosystems and biodiversity.
    • Today, more than two billion hectares of previously productive land is degraded
    • Over 70 per cent of natural ecosystems have been transformed. By 2050, this could hit 90 per cent
    • By 2030, food production will require an additional 300 million hectares of land
    • By 2030, the fashion industry is predicted to use 35 per cent more land – over 115 million hectares, equivalent to the size of Colombia
  • In order to respond DLDD challenges, the Government of Kenya has developed necessary interventions.
  • Some of the interventions include: Enactment of the National Land Policy, the Climate Change Act 2016, National Climate Change Response Strategy and Action Plan, the establishment of the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) and the establishment of Climate Change Secretariat, LDN Target setting, Kenya Strategic Investment Framework on Sustainable Land Management among others.
  • Besides these efforts, the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources in collaboration with NEMA has reviewed and aligned the National Action Programme for combating desertification with the 10 year UNCCD strategy 2008-2018.
  • It is only through inclusivity that Kenya shall attain all the SDGs by 2030. As one way of promoting sustainable development, through a Gazette Notice No. 2334, the The Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Forestry banned the manufacture, importation and use of plastic bags used for commercial and household packaging last year. This is a milestone in ensuring the land on which production occurs is kept in a healthy and safe state.
  • In addition, the ministry has developed the Environment Policy and reviewed relevant policies to be in line with the Constitution and all these initiatives will lead to improved community participation in environmental planning and management as well as strengthened environmental governance and partnerships
  • In conclusion, as a country, if each and every citizen does not play their roles to mitigate against the effects of desertification, land degradation and drought, we may in future not only lack food, feed and fibre but the land may not be able to sustain us. By turning land degradation into land restoration, we can realize the land´s full potential.
  • We welcome everybody to this year’s commemoration event either through local/ individual conservation activities or join the national event at Marsabit County.

Desertification and Drought Day 2020

The Desertification and Drought Day (DDD) formally known as World Day to Combat Desertification (WDCD) has been observed annually every 17th day of June since 1995 to promote public awareness relating to International Cooperation to Combat Desertification, Land Degradation and reduce the effects of drought (DLDD).

It is a unique occasion that reminds everybody that DLDD can be effectively tackled, and that key tools to this challenge lay in strengthening community participation and co-operation at all levels.

This year’s national commemoration will be held on 17th June, 2020 at Kargi, Marsabit County and will focus changing public attitudes to the leading driver of desertification and land degradation: humanity’s relentless production and consumption” and runs under the slogan “Food. Feed. Fibre.” and is connected to seeking to educate individuals on how to reduce their personal impact.

The global observance will be held in Seoul, Republic of Korea.  The Chief Guest will be the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forestry and a host of other Dignitaries as well the Public.

| 2019 DESERTIFICTION DAY MARKED

Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Mr. Keriako Tobiko, has said land degradation and climate change arising from human activities have adversely affected natural resources leading to desertification, and called on Kenyans to ensure proper land management and environmental conservation in a bid to reduce poverty and extreme hunger.

In a speech read on his behalf by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry Chief Administrative Secretary, Hon. Mohamed Elmi, during the celebrations to mark the 2019 World Day to Combat Desertification in Makindu, Makueni ounty, the CS said that, the ministry will come up with a program on restoration and afforestation, where they will work closely with the counties to increase the country’s forest cover by 10% by 2022.

Mr. Tobiko decried the low forest cover in Makueni county, which he attributed to cutting down of trees for charcoal production ,while sand harvesting has led to degradation of river beds and drying up of rivers. The CS said local communities should build resilience against current multi-fold development challenges through sustainable land management practices to avert desertification, and urged Kenyans to undertake tree planting activities at institutional and household level; rehabilitate water towers and wetlands.

Makueni Governor H.E. Hon. Kivutha Kibwana said cutting down of trees for firewood and charcoal and land degradation are accelerating desertification.

The Governor vouched for the enforcement of the climate change Act to address the emerging environmental issues and mitigate desertification.

The WDCD is observed on 17th June each year as required under the United Nations Convection to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), which Kenya signed in 1994 and ratified in 1997.

Kenya has observed this day since 1995 to promote public awareness relating to international cooperation to combat desertification, land degradation and mitigate effects of drought. The global event was marked in Ankara, Turkey.

The CAS Hon. Mohamed Elmi, with students from Salama Secondary School, Makindu, during tree planting to mark the WDCD

UNCCD COP 13

11.09.2017:- In its message to the High Level Segment of COP 13, Kenya,as the chair of the African region group noted that, drought was the most adverse climatic phenomena affecting the African region, and has resulted into declining land productivity, increased food insecurity, exacerbated poverty & unemployment levels, decreased Domestic Product, increased competition for natural resources, socio-economic disruptions and may compromise our efforts to achieve Land Degradation Neutrality.

 

11.09.2017:- Kenya’s Mr. Richard Mwendandu, Director of Multilateral Env. Agreements, State Dept. of Env. and Chair of the African group of negotiators, flanked by  members of Kenya’s delegation to COP 13 (at the back) and Ghana (front), delivering a statement on behalf of Kenya, which is the chair of the African region group, during the High Level Segment of COP 13 in Ordos, China.

Delegates to COP 13, among them Mr. John Kioli from the Green Africa Foundation, taking part in tree planting at the Kubuqi  Desert, Inner Mongolia, China, during an excursion tour to view the Land degradation restoration programmes in the Desert.

Delegates attending COP 13 in  Ordos, Inner Mongolia, China, among them Mr. John Kioli of the Green Aftica Foundation, during an excursion tour to the Kubuqi  Desert, viewing an unmanned aerial vehicle planting (drone),which is used to irrigate the planted seedlings using high pressure. The Desert is 100Kms from Ordos and 800Kms from Beijing city.

 

Dr. Kanga from the State Dept. of Nat. Res with Mr. John Kioli of Green Africa Foundation, at the exhibition stand of Eritrea at the Ordos International Convention Center in China. Eritrea, just like Kenya, is a member of the Horn of Africa Region, and it show-cased the various interventions the Government is putting in place to combat desertification. The other African Countries that are showcasing during the COP 13 here in Ordos alongside Eritrea are:- Namimbia and South Africa.

 

 

Members of the civil society attending the UNCCD COP 13 Conference on Desertification in Ordos, Inner Mongolia, China,among them Kenya’s John Kioli of  Green Africa Foundation, during the launch of the Land rights report  at the sidelines of the Conference.

UNCCD COP 13 OPENS IN ORDOS, CHINA.

Kenya’s Dr. , Ondimu from the MENR, flanked by Mr. Dan Kithinji from the Ministry, making a statement on behalf of the African region group in Ordos, China

Kenya was among the 196 countries that attended the thirteenth Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD COP 13) that opened in Ordos, Inner Mongolia, China.

The conference also attended by 20 international organizations, witnessed the handing over the COP presidency to Mr. Zhang Jianlong, Minister of State Forestry Administration, China, as the 13th President.

The COP presidency was handed over from Turkey who held the 12th conference presidency. During the handing over, the country was represented by Hon. Cemal Noğay, Deputy Undersecretary, Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs, Turkey, on behalf of Hon. Veysel Eroğlu, Minister of Forestry and Water Affairs.

Mr. Zhang Jianlong urged the conference parties to urgently consider integrating the Sustainable Development Goal on Desertification in their development plans in order to achieve a Land Degradation-neutral world by 2030.

Equally, he called on the parties to consider the future strategic Framework of the Convention, Implementation of the comprehensive communication strategy, and the United Nations Decade for Deserts and the fight against Desertification.

He noted that COP 13 was a gathering of great minds to discuss ways to combat desertification and share experiences of controlling the spread of  deserts in the world.

The President also called on the delegates to ensure that, starting from Ordos, and in the course of combating desertification, they embark on a fight side by side and engage in a common Endeavour to pursue green development.

Addressing the same gathering, the Executive Secretary of the UNCCD, Monique Barbut observed that, substantial achievements have resulted from efforts made over the past years. She added that more was expected with the strategic framework to be formed at from Ordos’s conference.

The executive Secretary further expressed fears that, the window of opportunity created from aligning the Convention with the 2030 Agenda was limited against high expectations. This therefore required more effort at COP 13 and thereafter to enable refocus implementation and translating the Land Degradation Neutrality targets into action.

Baurbut further noted that, COP 13 needed to take decisions on issues that had not been dealt with, including drought and sand storms, gender, land tenure security, and acceleration of knowledge and strategic communication.

Kenya on behalf of the African region and in its capacity as chair of the African group of negotiators, in a statement read by Dr. Kennedy Ondimu, of the State Department of Environment, said the country was looking forward to the adoption of the future strategic framework, which will be a landmark of the conference.

This will enhance UNCCD’s role in contributing to the implementation of sustainable development goals and the Rio convention, in a synergetic and integrated manner Dr. Ondimu added.

 

Let us work togather to combat desertification -CS WAKHUNGU

Africa is one of the Continents which most severely impacted by climate change and extremely vulnerable to climate variability due to its low adaptive capacity, the CS Prof. Judi Wakhungu, Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources has said. Although Africa has in the recent past made progress, development of emerging challenges such as climate change and desertification, natural resource degradation still continues to negatively impact the continent.

Wakhungu said this when she officially opened the first Regional Forum on African Initiative for Combating Desertification and strengthening Resilience to Climate Change in the Horn of Africa, held at the Kenya Forest Research Institute (KEFRI) headquarters in Nairobi.

CS said that the Forum is a reaffirmation of African people’s commitment to turning climate change and other environmental challenges into opportunities because the current negative trends in land and forest degradation are not able to guarantee food and water security, generate viable income and cope with the impacts of climate change and desertification.

The Forum was a follow up of two previous events on Preparatory Meeting of TICAD VI Side Event on African Initiative for Combating Desertification and the Launch of the African Initiative during the TICAD VI Summit which was held in August 2016 in Nairobi. This was the first time the Forum was being hosted on the African soil since its inception in 1993, she added.

IMG_4392The CS said that this meeting has come at a time when Kenya is experiencing drought due to depressed rains which were expected at the end of last year. To reverse these negative trends, the CS noted that Kenya had put in place robust measures which included sustainable afforestation and reforestation, encouraging agroforestry and reducing greenhouse gases by restoring the country’s forest cover to at least 10% by the year 2020.

In achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Wakhungu said, the country should adopt an integrated landscape approach of embracing urgent and collaborative action to restore, protect and sustainably manage our forestry resources, woodlands and agricultural landscape.

On her part, he Principal Secretary Dr. Margaret Mwakima who accompanied the CS, thanked development partners and in particular JICA for their timely vision and consistency in supporting environment and development initiatives within the dry land ecosystems and particularly the African Initiative.

“Evidently, climate change is real. Therefore, combating desertification to strengthen resilience to climate change is key and inevitable in the Sahel and Horn of Africa.” The PS added.

The Forum brought together delegates from seven African Countries namely Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somali, South Sudan, Sudan and Kenya. It is also being attended by delegates from Japan which is a development partner and the Sahel Region who are involved in natural resource management for the benefit of communities.