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NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Estelle Fach, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Governance and Accountability Specialist and Alfred Gichu, National Spokesperson for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forestation Degradation (REDD+), deliver their speeches during the launch of the National Task Force on Anti-Corruption for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forestation Degradation (REDD+) in Nairobi, Nov. 27, 2014. The task force will guide the Kenyan government and other stakeholders on matters related to deforestation, emissions and its effects. Xinhua PHOTO: Allan Muturi
Kenya promotes transparent spending in forestry

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- The Kenyan government and donor partners on Thursday launched a taskforce to enhance optimal utilization of climate mitigation and adaptation fund in the forestry sector.

Principal Secretary for environment, Richard Lesiyampe, said the launch of a national taskforce to promote transparency in Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) financing will accelerate green growth in Kenya.

“We are focusing on joint initiatives to reduce corruption risks in REDD projects and enable the country to access international carbon finance,” Lesiyampe told journalists in Nairobi.

REDD is an effort to create a financial value for the carbon stored in forests, offering incentives for developing countries to reduce emissions from forested lands and invest in low-carbon paths to sustainable development.

Kenya is signatory to international instruments on promoting prudent utilization of climate mitigation funds channeled through the forestry sector.

Lesiyampe revealed that Kenya has established a policy and regulatory framework to support implementation of REDD projects.

“The REDD process in Kenya is still in its preparatory phase, but we are strengthening institutions and systems to scale it up in all counties,” Lesiyampe said.

A national taskforce on anti-corruption for REDD has a one year mandate to identify and implement activities that would minimize corruption in the projects. The taskforce will promote inclusion and accountability during the design and execution of reforestation projects.

Kenya has received technical and financial support from the UN Development Program (UNDP) to strengthen institutions that manage climate funds.

Lesiyampe said a “Kenya REDD Corruption Risk Assessment” study has been concluded to enhance the country’s readiness to implement climate mitigation projects in the forestry sector.

Alfred Gichu, National coordinator for REDD, said forest degradation is to blame for 10.5 million tonnes of carbon emission in Kenya.

“We are investing heavily in forestry governance and have encouraged local communities to initiate reforestation projects,” Gichu said.



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