Kenya scores two goals on Paris Accord checklist

Wednesday December 27 2017

Hawkers at Wakulima Market in Nakuru County sell reusable eco-friendly carrier bags on August, 27, 2017, a day before the ban on plastic bags took effect. PHOTO | AYUB MUIYURO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Hawkers at Wakulima Market in Nakuru County sell reusable eco-friendly carrier bags on August, 27, 2017, a day before the ban on plastic bags took effect. PHOTO | AYUB MUIYURO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By SARA BAKATA
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Kenya marked two major milestones in 2017 as far as the Paris Accord is concerned.

First, the government in August banned the manufacture and use of plastics to improve waste management and cut gas and carbon emissions; and a month earlier, it launched the Green Economic Strategy 2017. This is a blueprint outlining the steps Kenya will take to reduce carbon emissions.

The two goals were achieved after a series of workshops involving the private sector through the Kenya Private Sector Alliance and the delegation of German industry and commerce in Kenya.

This is an initiative to ensure firms minimise their ecological footprint by adopting environmentally conscious business practices.

Working with the German Embassy Green Economy Cycle and Kepsa, Kenya’s quest for a green economy received a boost through the workshops involving industrialists, academia, media, government policy makers and non-state actors.

The objective of the workshops was to raise awareness for environmental protection, present sustainable solutions and illustrate the economic and financial benefits of adopting green technologies.

Environmental studies

The final workshop was held in Nairobi early this month just after the UN Environment Assembly was concluding at the UN headquarters in Gigiri, Nairobi, where Kenya was commended for taking steps towards a green economy.

One of the hotly debated issues was that of “green communication.” That organisations are not doing enough to educate clients and end-users of their products on what needs to be done to maintain a healthy and conducive environment.

Speaking at the workshop on behalf of Kenya’s Minister for Environment Prof Judy Wakhungu, the director of environmental awareness in the Ministry, Dr Ayub Macharia said the government will working with the private sector and partners such as the German embassy in promoting initiatives towards achieving a green economy.

Further, the new school curriculum to be adopted in 2018 has incorporated environmental studies as part of green communication to encourage ecologically daily practice.

Mr Macharia also urged industries to manufacture and distribute bottles which can be “recycled” to reuse the material out of which they are made and reduce the amount of waste that goes into landfills.

Jutta Frasch, German ambassador to Kenya commended Kenya’s efforts.