Monday, May 25, 2009

Kenya ill-equipped to fight climate change, UN body says

Africa Science News: As preparations for the World Environment Day gets underway, United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) has warned that Kenya is ill-equipped to mitigate the effects of climate change. UNEP’s Climate Change Adaptation Unit says despite the fact that the effects of climate change such as floods, droughts and diseases are evident in Kenya, the country lacks the capacity to address the environmental disasters.

A Programme Officer at the Unit Dr Musonda Mumba blames the country for not giving environmental issues the seriousness they deserve. Dr Mumba accuses the government of not even applying for funds from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to fight climate change as other countries in the world are doing.

“Despite the fact that the West have met their targets by providing funds to assist developing countries adapt to climate change, some of them such as Kenya are not utilizing the Global Environment Facility kitty…” Dr Mumba told Africa Science News Service at the sidelines of a public lecture on climate change in Nairobi last week. At the same time, she lashed out at the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) for its closed door policy which locks out public participation hence hampering environmental conservation efforts.

“NEMA must embrace an open policy to bring all stakeholders on board if environmental conservation programmes are to succeed. There is need to package science in a simple and accessible manner to avoid a situation where it looks like an elitist business,” notes the Programme Officer…

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