lobbies urge community
ownership of R.E.D.D. projects
treaties have recognized the critical role
of sustainable forestry management to cushion
countries from devastating impacts of global warming
REPORT BY XINHUA CORRESPONDENTS
(Xinhua) -- Climate change advocates have
called on East African governments to allow local
communities to have a greater voice in the design
and implementation of climate mitigation and
adaptation projects such as reforestation,
watersheds and rangelands restoration.
advocates who have been meeting in Kenya have also
urged East African governments and financiers
to factor the interests of grassroots communities
while initiating nature based climate change
interventions including reduced emissions through
deforestation and degradation (REDD).
is crucial for policy makers and financiers to
design REDD projects that take into account the
right of ownership among local communities. These
communities should participate in the REDDs
implementation failure to which conflicts will be
inevitable,” Pan African Climate Justice
Alliance Coordinator Mithika Mwenda told a region
forum on Sunday.
was speaking during a regional forum to discuss REDD
preparedness in East and Horn of Africa.
East and Horn of Africa region has borne the brunt
of climate change impacts and experts reiterated
that its huge repository of natural wealth such as
forests and wetlands can be harnessed to reduce
to Mwenda, REDD projects have been initiated in the
region with varying degree of success depending on
policy and legal environment of the specific
has so far made remarkable progress in the
implementation of REDD projects while
are on course though much needs to be done in both
countries,” he said.
stressed that community land rights, benefit sharing
and environmental safeguards are critical component
of REDD projects.
contributes 17 percent to global carbon emissions
while climate treaties have recognized the critical
role of sustainable forestry management to cushion
countries from devastating impacts of global
to the national coordinator,
forest working group, Rudolf Makhanu, both the World
Bank and United Nations are spearheading efforts to
promote REDD in vulnerable and poor nations.
is no denying trees have a significant role in
climate mitigation and adaptation especially in
developing countries. Governments should therefore
prioritize expansion of forest cover through a mix
of policy, legal and financial incentives,”
Makhanu told Xinhua.
observed that rapid deforestation through expansion
of agricultural land, urbanization and human
encroachment threatens success of REDD projects in
the east and Horn of African region.
East African nation has 72 percent forest cover and
the central government in partnership with donors,
private sector and civil society has rolled out
interventions to halt deforestation.
pointed out those rewarding local communities to
conserve forests will boost climate mitigation in
REDD project should be based on financial
compensation for communities conserving the forest
ecosystem. Policies should also recognize benefit
sharing and land rights,” Makhanu said.
added that both the Kenyan constitution and Vision
2030 are REDD compliant by emphasizing on tree cover
expansion to attain sustainable development.
projects have great potential in the East and Horn
of African region if governments established policy
and legal incentives while mobilizing domestic
resources towards this cause.
to a Ugandan ecologist, Polycarp Mwima, national
policies should emphasize on community ownership and
readiness to catalyze implementation of REDD
forests are critical in addressing climate change
and therefore countries should harness this
resource to sequester carbon and cushion local
communities from severe droughts and floods,”
is need to localize REDD projects to ensure
grassroots communities benefit from carbon
have a right to benefit from forest resources in
their vicinity and therefore REDD policies should
facilitate full participation of local people in
both design and implementation stage,” remarked
the coordinator, Center for Indigenous peoples and
environment network, Bonny Tereget
emphasized that grassroots communities are endowed
with indigenous knowledge that should be integrated
in national forestry management programs.
noted that creation of county governments in
will help popularize REDD projects at the
modernize green housing
Christine Lagat NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Savvy
Kenyan entrepreneurs have revitalized green housing
through use of energy efficient but low cost
lighting and construction materials sourced mainly
quest for green homes surge in
, property developers have a reason to cheer as
novel technologies replace conventional materials to
construct durable and eco-friendly houses.
are alternative building systems that are both
energy efficient and affordable which can be
tapped to put up homes in any part of the
country,” CEO of Prime Ventures, Menelik
Makonnen said on Wednesday.
Ventures has introduced into the Kenyan market a new
housing technology based on use of expanded
polystyrene (EPS) panels with a cement coating to
replace conventional stones.
told Xinhua during an interview in
that this technology has been adopted globally and
has a promising future in
where demand for low cost housing has increased.
use of non brick and environmentally friendly
building system has picked up in
largely because of the quest to eliminate slums
through provision of low cost houses,” Makonnen
conventional stones with welded panels that have
been plastered with cement and sand saves on cost
and duration of constructing a house.
to Makonnen, it would cost 30,000 dollars to put up
a posh three bedroom unit in a suburban location
using panels with cement coating. Likewise, this
building system utilize only steel for roofing and
help save on timber.
panel technology is ideal for building houses,
schools, hospitals, swimming pools and basement
packing. The stone has a 90- year guarantee and
can withstand earthquakes or hurricanes,” said
Ventures has developed model housing units in
suburbs, central province and
home grown small and medium enterprise imports the
expanded polystyrene panels from
and has partnered with a construction company to
develop housing units using this technology.
revealed to Xinhua that the machines and equipment
for manufacturing these panels are sourced from
far, the National Housing Corporation has
purchased the machines from
to manufacture 3-dimensional wired panels with
polystyrene insulation to construct low cost
houses,” Makonnen said.
small and medium sized enterprises have partnered to
revolutionalize green housing using technologies
that are home- grown, cheaper and environmentally
said that a partnership formed with two Kenyan mid-
sized enterprises, Deutrex Limited and Clean Power
Technologies limited, has promoted solar lighting
and waste recycling and re- reuse at household
Limited is a six-year-old limited company founded by
Gitonga Murungi, a Kenyan solar energy innovator and
to Murungi, the company has partnered with the World
Bank and International Finance Corporation (IFC) to
provide modern and cleaner off grid energy sources
to local communities through the Lighting Africa
is abundant solar in
to sustain lighting in homes and what is needed is
to make solar products locally available,”
Murungi told Xinhua.
limited import solar equipment from
while research and development is conducted in
Prime Ventures construct houses, Deutrex is tasked
with installing solar equipment in this one year
other partner, Clean Power Technologies Limited,
provides household solution to solid and liquid
waste through recycling and re-use.
sets the pace in
assessing its carbon footprint
Peter Mutai NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- The World
Agroforestry Center (ICRAF) has captured 2,161
tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2011 from the Greenhouse
Gas (GHG) emissions from its operations in office
and trips out of the office in
said late on Monday that it made the achievements
from its staff official travels by air and road,
hotel stays, electricity consumption and individual
is an indication that the center is set to
becoming a carbon-neutral institution in the
world,” said Dr. Audrey Chenevoy, the consultant
with ICRAF’s Climate Change Unit responsible for
carrying out the organization’s carbon footprint
assessment told Xinhua in
said that the credits belong to the Kasigau Corridor
REDD (deforestation and degradation) project in
Kenya that protects over 500,000 acres of forest and
also safeguarding the highly threatened wildlife
migration corridor between two of Kenya’s largest
national parks (Tsavo East and Tsavo West), and
brings diverse benefits to surrounding rural
project, run by wildlife work is the world’s first
REDD project to be validated and verified under the
Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) and holds Gold Level
status under the Climate, Community and Biodiversity
December 2012, ICRAF headquarters bought carbon
credits to offset its GHG emissions for the next two
years, through an institution called The Carbon
latter recognizes the exceptional environmental and
social benefits the project provides – including
job creation, education, and the provision of direct
financial benefits from carbon to over 100,000 local
revealed that ICRAF headquarters in
is officially carbon neutral hence setting an
example that it hopes other offices and institutions
will follow in addressing the challenge of climate
to offsetting its emissions, ICRAF headquarters
published a detailed account of its 2011 carbon
findings of this assessment, the first in the
Center’s history, are already informing actions to
reduce carbon emissions at the headquarters, with
the ultimate goal of achieving carbon- neutrality
for its operation around the world.
to ICRAF Director General Tony Simons, the
office will aim to remain carbon neutral and assess
its carbon footprint annually and will be sharing
the information on their website.
have extended the assessment process to our
regional offices with the aim of becoming a carbon
neutral institution,” he added.
revealed that ICRAF is simply walking the talk and
hope that donors and the public see this commitment
to sustainable practices.
headquarters is already implementing actions to
reduce its carbon footprint over the long term,
which will be important in balancing emissions as
the organization grows.The
office has developed a new recycling system and
switched, wherever possible, to energy-saving
revealed that plans to update the video conferencing
system to increase collaboration over the internet
and cut down on travel are underway.
institution is also in the process of introducing
actions towards carbon-neutrality and purchasing
climate change affects everyone—from rural
smallholder farmers to urban dwellers, we all have
to do our part to keep emissions to the minimum,
at the individual, community and institutional
level,” Chenevoy said.
move makes ICRAF as the first Consultative Group in
International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) center
to rigorously assess its carbon emissions worldwide.
has taken some ground-breaking step this past
year, but a lot of work lies ahead if we want to
be truly sustainable,” Dr. Henry Neufeldt, head
of ICRAF’s Climate Change Unit and leader of the
carbon footprint initiative noted.
said that as an organization at the leading edge of
climate change adaptation and mitigation research in
agriculture, achieving carbon neutrality represents
not only a challenge, but also an opportunity for
ICRAF to demonstrate its credibility as a 21st
Kasigau Corridor REDD project covers 200,000
hectares of dry forest land in southern
an area that is under intense threat from slash and
burn agriculture practiced by the local communities
that continue encroaching the parks.
150,000 people are already benefiting from the
revenues emanating from the sale of carbon from the
project is the first ever to be issued with
Voluntary Emissions Reductions (VERs) for REDD under
both Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) and the Climate
Community and Biodiversity Standard (CCB).
are the two most comprehensive carbon accounting
standards among projects issuing credits in
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