Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Kenya studies financial burden of climate change

George Omondi and Steve Mbogo in via Business Daily (Nairobi): The government is working on a strategy to determine the financial burden of climate change ahead of the Copenhagen conference slated for early December. The conference on global warming is expected to come up with a formula, both for mitigating climate change and funding technologies that developing nations need to use to fight climate risks.

Environment PS Lawrence Lenayapa says a fully budgeted national climate change response strategy will be unveiled immediately the government concludes a comprehensive national climate change policy by next month. "It is not enough to have a negotiated text, but to know the cost of taking action and this strategy will reflect the reality of our need as a country," said Mr Lenayapa

The climate change policy will also coordinate all the environment related laws that are currently being applied by different government departments.

Experts say the cost of increasing the forest cover from the current 1.7 per cent level to the international threshold of 10 per cent, and increased investment in scientific research and capacity building of institutions like Kenya Meteorological department, will feature highly on the country's climate change agenda.

Prof George Krhoda, a lecturer at the University of Nairobi's geography and environmental studies department, reckons that Kenya's climate dependent production system risks being wiped out by unmitigated climate change. "Even the water shortage that we are experiencing now is a tip of the iceberg because 86 per cent of our water comes from the surface while only two fifths of the country is endowed with water resources," said Prof Khroda….

This satellite image from NASA's Earth Observatory (prepared by Jesse Allen) shows how dry much of Kenya is. The arid landscape is tan and orange with darker shades of brown where rock is exposed. The tiny dark green and black dots scattered across the region are trees. The densest clusters of trees are, unsurprisingly, near the rivers, particularly the Ewaso Nyiro. The river itself is a pale tan ribbon of sand. On the right side of the image, a tiny dark line of water trickles through the river. The water appears to be flowing into the Ewaso Nyiro from the Keromet River.

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