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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

NAIROBI, (Xinhua) -- Stefan Dehrlain (L), Program Manager at German Technical Cooperation, Judy Wakhungu ©, Kenyan Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources and Alice Kaudia, Environmental Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources attend the launch of the Climate Change Action Plan in Nairobi, Nov. 27, 2017. XINHUA PHOTO: CHARLES ONYANGO
Kenya’s Action Plan of Low-Carbon Climate Resilience 

By Peter Mutai NAIROBI (Xinhua) — Kenya on Monday launched an action plan that will guide the transition of the country toward a low-carbon climate resilient sustainable development.

Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Natural Resources Judi Wakhungu said National Climate Change Action Plan 2018-2022 will help mainstream climate change and disaster risk reduction actions in development programs.

“We have come face to face with the unprece-dented challenge of climate change impacts and the corresponding socio-economic losses, hence the need to re-strategize on our way forward,” Wakhungu said during the launch in Nairobi.

The 2018-2022 plan, intended to help address all sectors of the economy, will set out actions for main-streaming climate change responses into sector functions, identify all actions required as enablers to climate change response and to review and determine mechanisms for climate change knowledge mana-gement and access to information.

“We hope to work together to enhance our under-standing of the risks and opportunities and find innovative and effective ways to address the climate change challenge in a manner that will result in a climate resilient and a secured future for Kenya,” said Wakhungu.

She said that Kenya, like many African countries, remains highly vulnerable to climate change impacts and its impacts continue to be felt by communities around the world.

Wakungu noted that climate change is not only a threat to the achievement of sustainable development and poverty reduction but has the potential to reverse the modest gains that Kenya has achieved toward attaining the sustainable development goals (SDGs).

“These manifestations of climate change constitute a serious threat to Kenya’s sustainable development and future prosperity,” she added.

Even though climate change continues to undermine Kenya’s development, the country has continued to make significant progress in efforts to address it both locally and internationally.

Kenya now has a law on climate change, the Climate Change Act 2016, that provides an enabling environment for implementation of both domestic and international obligations.

Wakhungu said Kenya has ratified the Paris Agreement and submitted its Nationally Determined Contribution, which commits Kenya to taking steps toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by the year 2030.

Kenya set up a task force that is composed of climate change experts from the public, private sectors and development partners.

“The task force shall be informed by scientific knowledge about climate change, technology and technological innovations relevant to climate change and the likely impact of the action plans, strategies and policies on the marginalized and disadvantaged communities, “ said Director of Climate Change Programs at the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Pacifica Gogol.

The team will also look into the indigenous knowledge related to climate change and inter-national law and policy relating to climate change, Gogol said.

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UN agency to help East Africa states adopt
green housing to combat climate change

NAIROBI, (Xinhua) -- The United Nations agency on human settlements said Monday it will assist East Africa states to adopt green housing techniques as a way to promote climate change.

Fredrick Ochieng, Energy Expert at the UN-Habitat, told Xinhua in Nairobi that his agency is providing technical advice to the region on how to construct buildings that reduce energy consumption.

“The UN is implementing the regional program on promoting energy efficiency in buildings in East Africa so as to mainstream energy efficiency measures into the building codes, building policies and building practices,” Ochieng said on the sidelines of the Stakeholders Forum on Validation of Kenya Building Research Institute Bill and Strategic Plan.

The UN-Habitat is conducting the exercise in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi where it hopes to catalyze the construction of 600,000 green buildings over a period of five years.

Ochieng noted that currently, construction and maintenance of houses consume 60 percent of all energy used in East African.

“We want to help the region to improve its efficiency as a way to reduce the amount of green house gases emitted into the atmosphere,” he added.

The program on promoting green house principles is funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and has provided technical assistance in the area of green building, house finance and national building codes for Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda as well as provided input in the development of new building permits in Tanzania.

The regional program also trained over 500 architects and quantity surveyors in the field of energy efficiency in buildings.

Ochieng noted that the program is responding to the need for more energy savings during the design, construction and operation of buildings.

One of the major achievements of the program is the adoption by 10 universities in East Africa of a handbook on sustainable building design for tropical countries as a constituent part of their teaching materials for architects.

             

 

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