NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
The UN Development Program (UNDP) on Thursday
launched a 4 million U.S dollar program for environmental
conservation in Kenya.
Director at UNDP Kenya Catherine Masaka said the Small Grants
Program (SGP) will help in conserving the degraded environment
that poses life-threatening challenges to people.
“The grants will
enable communities develop and implement projects that mitigate
degradations, support ecological life systems and protect human
dignity,” Masaka said during the launch of the 6th
phase of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the UNDP’s
Small Grants Program in Nairobi.
She said the GEF’s 6th
phase is to enhance the socio-ecological resilience of Lake
Bogoria ecosystem in southwestern Kenya, the Mijikenda Kay
forest and the biodiversity-rich marine ecosystem of the
Shimoni-Vanga in southwestern Kenya.
Masaka called for
the full involvement of local communities in environmental
management right from the program’s onset, since they understand
and appreciate the connectedness of environment with their
livelihoods and general well-being.
and local communities have a vital part to play in the global
effort to protect biodiversity, address climate change and
promote sustainable land use,” Masaka said.
She noted that the
effective engagement of local communities in the conservation of
resources is essential for a country’s socio-economic
The UN official
noted that projects designed and executed by local communities
who have overcome multiple challenges succeed because they
understand their natural resources and their cultural heritage
She said that poor
and vulnerable communities are most at risk because they depend
on access to natural resources for their livelihoods and often
live in fragile ecosystems.
are the custodians of the world’s remaining natural resources
including forests, water-bodies, land and the atmosphere, Masaka
“The UNDP strongly
supports community-based approaches because they help national
governments to advance people-centered development solutions,”
for Environment and Forestry Keriako Tobiko said that the three
selected projects presents different levels of biodiversity loss
and land degradation that has been exacerbated by climate
“The areas provide
important ecosystem services to the country and are essential
for the livelihoods of pastoral, agricultural and fisher
communities,” he said.
Tobiko noted that
although the agricultural sector is a major driver of the
economy, food production has been declining due to over-reliance
on rainfed agriculture, low adoption of technology and overuse
and misuse of agro-chemicals.
“The project will
promote indigenous food consumption and diversification of
staple foodstuffs, applications of sound agro-ecological
practices and principles, support sustainable grazing practices
and herd management and strengthen governance of beach
management units for improved management of fisheries,” Tobiko