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The Pan African Climate Justice Alliance today launched the thematic working groups under the Angaza Project in a meeting that was held at the Ngong Hills Hotel in Nairobi.

The meeting also served as a planning forum for the momentum committee advocacy strategy.

The meeting took place just three weeks after the second national stakeholders consultative meeting that was held at the DoubleTree Hotel in Nairobi where stakeholders volunteered their participation in five thematic working groups under the momentum platforms. 

The groups were aimed at providing platforms within which CSO stakeholders can strategize, deliberate, and work on multi-sectoral climate change issues under the five broad themes.

These included the climate adaptation working group that will be responsible for examining the climate governance framework in Kenya, including the national climate change action plan to identify gaps and areas of improvement, and proposing relevant changes and inputs.

The second group will focus on climate mitigation where it is expected to generate ideas and proposals under mitigation, particularly within the Kenya INDCs.

The third group will focus on Technology transfer, knowledge management and capacity building where it is expected to generate its proposals based on knowledge management, capacity development, public awareness and communication and integrating climate change into Kenya’s education system. 

The fourth group will, under the leadership of Transparency International, work on generating proposals for mainstreaming of climate finance tracking in the government and other sectors. 

The group is also expected to come up with proposals on pathways to new climate financing options and access to such funds by county governments and county level organisations including community groups working on adaptation and mitigation.

The fifth group will focus on gender and marginalized groups where it is charged with coming up with ideas on how to improve the current situation by coming up with specific recommendations to address these issues. The group is expected to generate recommendations on other gender-responsive climate policies and actions at county and community levels particularly where national climate policies have gaps in implementation.

Following today’s meeting, the thematic groups’ structures were well defined with lead organisations, co-conveners and members identified as well as the linkage between groups established.

The group members came away with a better understanding of the goal and objectives of the Angaza Project and the support to be provided to the thematic groups.

As part of the strategy to strengthen CSO coordination on national climate change policy advocacy, the Angaza project, Implemented by PACJA, will support the groups through strategic technical and financial facilitation to implement their action plans.

 

Pan African Climate Justice Alliance lauds the Ministry of Environment in Kenya for acknowledging the voices of vulnerable groups in the review of National Climate Change Action plan. Indigenous groups like Pastoralists, Women and children are most affected by climate change and their views should be in mitigation and adaptation action plans.

CS Keriako Tobiko noted that gender mainstreaming was crucial in formulation of climate change action plans adding that it was imperative to enlist the views of the most vulnerable groups in the community as they held the highest stakes in the phenomenon.

The Environment and Forest CS was speaking when he was presented with a zero draft report of the National climate change action plan proposed for 2018-2022, by an Inter-Ministerial, multi-sectoral task force.

The task force was urged to include views of the most vulnerable groups in society including pastoralist communities during the planned county consultations across the country.

We welcome this great step and encourage other stakeholders in the media and faith- based organizations to join in these task force to drive advocacy and awareness creation.

The National Action Plan will go through a National Validation, parliamentary scrutiny and once approved by the climate change council chaired by the President will be adopted.

By Isaiah Esipisu

The Paris Agreement on Climate Change seeks international interventions to hold the rise in the global average temperature to below 2 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial levels and cap it at 1.5 °C.

But according to a new study conducted in all of Kenya’s 21 semi-arid counties, at least five have surpassed the 1.5-degree mark and the impact, especially on cattle survival, is devastating. Worrying projections show that the temperatures will rise even further in the coming years.

This comes just four years after a World Bank report synthesising scientific knowledge on global warming, which warned that the earth was on the path to get 4o° C warmer by the end of the century — with huge implications for humanity.

DEVELOPMENT

A new study commissioned by the Canada-based International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) — through the Pathways to Resilience in Semi-arid Economies (Prise) project — show West Pokot and Elgeyo-Marakwet as the most affected counties with a temperature rise of 1.91o° C in the past 50 years. Others are Turkana (1.8o° C), Baringo (1.8o° C), Laikipia (1.59o° C) and Narok (1.75o° C).

The study also startlingly found that the population of cattle in the semi-arid counties has decreased by 26 per cent in the past 38 years up to 2015.

The scientists who carried out the study attributed this to the constantly rising temperatures due to global warming and reduced or unpredictable rainfall patterns.

SCIENTISTS

So far, Turkana is the most affected, recording a drop of nearly 60 per cent, followed by Machakos, Garissa, Kitui and Kajiado, according to the study conducted by scientists from Kenya Markets Trust (KMT).

This is bad news, particularly for Turkana, Garissa and Kajiado, because livestock is the mainstay for the residents.

However, all is not lost. While the cattle population was on the decline, that of sheep and goats in the 21 counties rose by 76.3 per cent, with some, such as Laikipia and Lamu, recording a 256.6 per cent and 458 per cent increase, respectively.

WAKE UP CALL

According to the scientists, cattle can thrive if temperatures do not surpass 30oC and not below 10o° C. But small animals like sheep and goats, and also camels, can tolerate warmer temperatures; hence the reason they multiplied exponentially.

These findings should be a wake-up call for all counties. They should use the data to re-evaluate what is happening in terms of rising temperatures and rainfall variations and the projections to come up with sound policies that are responsive to climate change.

One way of adapting to climate shocks and stresses will be by developing policies with clear knowledge of what the near future is likely to look like, with a focus on appropriate technologies, while being mindful of crops or livestock that are going to survive in projected climatic conditions.

TECHNOLOGIES

Kitui, Tharaka-Nithi and Embu counties are joining hands with the Pan-Africa Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) and faith-based organisations to develop climate change policies based on experiments by farmers to identify local technologies that can aid adaptation.

Considering the Prise research findings, some counties will need to re-think and prioritise their livestock investment options to take comparative advantage of the resources they have. They could invest in slaughterhouses — for example, Laikipia and Isiolo (cattle), Marsabit (goats) and Wajir (camel, sheep and goats).

County governments must, therefore, consider such important knowledge as they develop their spatial plans.

Mr Esipisu, a freelance journalist, is the coordinator for Pan-African Media Alliance for Climate Change (PAMACC). This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

This article was first published on the Daily Nation website

NAIROBI Kenya (PAMACC News) - A team of scientists from the Kenya Markets Trust (KMT) on April 11, 2018 shared all the key research findings of four different thematic studies conducted in Kenya under the Pathways to Resilience in Semi-Arid Economies (PRISE) project.

“The Kenya government is now focusing on the “Big Four” agenda aimed at improving livelihoods, creating jobs and growing the economy by focusing on critical areas of the economy in the next five years,” noted Kamau Kuria, the head of KMT.  

“It is noteworthy that part of the PRISE study, which aimed at strengthening the understanding and knowledge of decision-makers on the threats and opportunities that semi-arid economies face in relation to climate change, will go a long way in helping unlock the potential of semi-arid lands in Kenya and thus enhance  their contribution to the national agenda,” he told delegates drawn from Kenya , Senegal, International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and Overseas Development Institute (ODI) during the event to disseminate key research findings in a Nairobi Hotel.

The study, which was commissioned by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Canada and the UK based Department for International Development (DFID) aims at supporting climate resilient economic development in partner countries by identifying opportunities for adaptation that are also opportunities for investment by the public and private sectors.

“These findings from Kenya will help change the narrative in semi-arid areas,” said Dr Eva Ludifrom the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) – which is coordinating the PRISE project at a global level.

According to Dr Evans Kitui of IDRC, direct involvement of government officials both at the county and the national level is a pointer towards implementation of policies that will emanate from the four studies. “In the past, research has not been well appreciated. But now, we can see a lot of government participation,” he said.

One of the studies found that in the past 50 years, temperatures have risen in all the 21 semi-arid counties in Kenya, with five of them recording an increase of more than 1.5oC increase. They include Turkana (1.8oC), West Pokot, ElgeyoMarakwet (1.91oC), Baringo (1.8oC), Laikipia (1.59oC) and Narok (1.75oC).  

This, according to Dr Mohammed Said, one of the lead researchers, has impacted greatly on livestock survival, on one hand presenting a disaster, and on the other hand providing an opportunity that can be exploited

“There were winners and losers,” he told delegates at the forum. “Generally, cattle do not survive the higher temperatures, while at the same time, sheep and goat population increased exponentially,” said Dr Said.

According to the study, whose theme was to harness opportunities for climate-resilient economic development in semi-arid lands and identifying the potential for economic transformation and diversification in semi-arid lands especially in the beef value chain, the overall population of cattle in all the semi-arid counties reduced by more than 26% between the year 1977 and 2016.

However, the study also reveals that goats and sheep population increased tremendously by 76% in the same period, with camels’ population increased by 14%. “This shows that goats, sheep, and camels enjoyed the higher temperatures while cattle could not survive the stress,” said Dr Said.

“We’ve seen great potential for implementing some of the adaptation options and I call upon the stakeholders gathered here today, to pull together so we can build resilience and open up the ASALs for trade, investments and better livelihoods,” said Kuria of KMT.

In Nyeri County, for example, Dr James Gakuo began with buying severely emaciated cattle for fattening at his farm in Kiganjo through intensive system of beef production that focuses on feeding cattle for 90 days on concentrate feeds till they reach the desired weight for the market, thereby creating a market for such animals that would otherwise have died.

In just two years, 14 other farmers have followed in his footsteps, and are in the business of fattening emaciated cattle thus providing more market to pastoralists who are hard hit by tough climatic conditions.

Another study looked at the land tenure with a special focus on Maasai pastoralist community in Kajiado County.

The study found out that 64 percent of the entire Kajiado County is now private land that is not open for grazing.“Though this has provided opportunity because privatisation always leads to greater investment opportunities for those who can secure land, it marginalizes the poor and particularly women in the process,” said Dr Stephen Moiko, one of the lead researchers. 

According to Dr Eva Ludi of ODI, these findings will be presented at the Talanoa Dialogue in Bonn, Germany come May 2018.

The purpose of Talanoa Dialogue is for parties to share climate change related stories, build empathy and to make wise decisions for the collective good.

According to Dr Said, county governments should also take advantage of the research findings and scenario projections to develop their spatial plans.

“These findings will be important in the formulation of new policies and strategies such as the National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP 2018-2022), the National Wildlife Conservation and Management Strategy, and the County Development Integrated Plans (CIDPs),” said Joseph Muhwanga, the PRISE project National Coordinator in Kenya.

We are at the Africa Carbon Forum taking place at the United Nations Headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya from 11-13 April, 2018. This forum is a collaboration of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Nairobi Framework Partnership (NFP). This year, the Africa Carbon Forum is celebrating its tenth gathering under the theme Creating Action For Sustainable Development - Driving Change In Africa.

The Africa Carbon Forum, is an annual event with participants from all countries in Africa. The goal of the forum is to unify members from the public, private, and non-state sectors in climate change dialogue in reference to the nationally determined contributions (NDCs) in accordance with the Paris Agreement. Furthermore, the forum aims to open a dialogue on how to mobilize investment in the implementation of NDCs, and achieve enhanced climate resilience through achieving a low level of carbon emissions through sustainable development. The workshops will focus on practical examples of policies, initiatives, and actions supporting NDCs, barriers to engaging key sectors in implementation, and financial frameworks to support these actions.

Stakeholders from all African countries in several sectors have attended this forum to join the discussion in achieving climate resilience. Members from the private sector, CSOs, international organizations, National Governments, academia, and technology were all present, the Director of Climate Change & Green Growth division of the African Development Bank, Director of the County Programming Division of the Green Climate Fund, and the Manager of Sustainable Development Mechanism from the UNFCCC.

This three-day event allows professionals from all over Africa with an opportunity to hear about the achievements made in climate adaptation and the barriers that are still faced. Furthermore, participants are given tools and advise on how to proceed with current climate adaptation projects, such as legal framework and policy formation. The most common challenge that has been addresses is climate finance, engagement of private sector investment, and the mobilization of funds to fulfill adaptation measures.

Through this forum, stakeholders in Africa will be provided information about current climate adaptation measures and tools in order to enhance adaptation actions in future development plans. Participation of the private sector and civil society is essential in achieving progress in enhanced climate resilience and all sector engagement.

Within the African Carbon Forum, Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) represents Civil Society Organizations' perspectives on how climate resilience can be enhanced across Africa and in a bid to play a complementary role to actions undertaken by the private and public sectors

MS Training Centre for Development Corporation in Eastern and Southern Africa (MS TCDC) together with partners met in Arusha, Tanzania from the 2 - 7 April 2018 to deliberate on the African agenda and to find continent - based solutions where challenges have been experienced. The conference theme was multifaceted conversations in Africa and discussions dwelt on leadership, the illicit financial flows, land issues, Inequality, Green Living and the role of Swahili language in East Africa regional integration. These conversations formed part of MS TCDC commemoration of 50th anniversary since its inception. At the end of the week, participants and the public would appreciate the ‘state of play’ in respect to these selected development and policy issues.

MS-TCDC in collaboration with Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance and EndaSolar, hosted Green Living Day as part of multifaceted conversation within the 6-days series of coordinated, but informal dialogues aimed at promoting reflection and action toward locally feasible solutions to local domestic concerns.

East Africa and Africa at large continues to face a double pronged challenge of expanding economic opportunities for all in the context of a growing global population and addressing environmental pressures that come with economic development. The challenge of environmental pressure is so crucial that when left unaddressed will undermines the opportunities that have been provided for by economic development. Green growth and green living is where these two challenges meet and it is about exploiting the opportunities to actualize these two. 

Speaking at the event, Mr. Ezra Mbogo, the Executive Director at MS TCDC in his welcoming remarks was categorical on the need to go back and embrace our root. “Mother Nature is crucial and important to our survival and the more we don’t interfere with it the more it will serve us. Let us embrace green living and ensure that our actions don’t deplete the environment further. It all starts with us.’’

On the Green living day, conversations revolved around evaluating key African Climate Change Response Initiatives specifically Gasification (Thermal Power) using Prosopis Juliflora in transitioning to Low-carbon Energy in Kenya, Solar Energy opportunities for Green Living and the role of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) on mobilization and advocacy on Green Living in East Africa.

Green living is the practice of reducing demand on natural resources and reducing carbon footprint at various levels. It offers an opportunity for people to adopt actions for sustainable living that can help them to reduce their carbon footprint or environmental impact by altering their lifestyle. It is an opportunity for people to adopt actions for sustainable living that can help them to reduce their carbon footprint or environmental impact by altering their lifestyle. Simple measures like using public transportation more often, reducing energy consumption, becoming more eco-friendly can go a long way in reducing your environmental impact and making this planet a clean and safe place. Green living revolves around micro and macro choices on energy and water consumption, liquid and solid waste disposal and modes of transportation among others.

 

Why Green Living is should be central in our lives

Green growth means fostering economic growth and development while ensuring that natural assets continue to provide the resources and environmental services on which our well-being relies. Green growth refers to development that improves human well-being and builds social equity while reducing environmental risks and scarcities. Green growth is an alternative to today's dominant economic model, which exacerbates inequalities, encourages waste, triggers resource scarcities, and generates widespread threats to the environment and human health.

Green growth is centered on the principles of sharing, circularity, collaboration, solidarity, resilience, opportunity, and interdependence. Green growth provides a practical and flexible approach for achieving concrete, measurable progress across its economic and environmental pillars, while taking full account of the social consequences of greening the growth dynamic of economies. The focus of green growth strategies is ensuring that natural assets can deliver their full economic potential on a sustainable basis. 

From the conversations, we all sat down and agreed that, Environmental protection is our responsibility thus we must adopt lifestyle habits that protect it and promote Green living. We also recognized the role non- state actors play to influence policies to ensure development sustainability and foster synergy and collaboration between all sectors of economy to promote Green energy development.

The Pan African Climate Justice is today holding the second national stakeholders consultative meeting on national climate change governance at the Double Tree Hotel in Nairobi. 

The meeting, which is being held under the Angaza project, seeks to give feedback on the outcomes of the committee set up to come up with recommendations on consolidation of the national CSO climate governance platform and creation of a national non-state actors platform.

There will be discussions on the review of the national climate change action plan and communication on the way forward on the selection process for CSO representatives on the national climate change council by a task force led by the NGO council.

The meeting will also provide an opportunity to discuss the national CSO momentum platform membership and thematic working groups.

The Angaza project which is under the Deepening Democracy Programme funded by the British People through UK Aid seeks to promote effective climate change governance in Kenya through coordination among civil societies to engage and advocate for a transparent, accountable, participatory climate change governance process.

The project seeks to encourage civil society organisations to explore ways to work together on thematic issues within climate change and build the capacity of thematic working groups to meaningfully collaborate under the newly enacted Climate Change Act 2016 regime.

Strengthened CSO thematic working groups provide informed input, technical review papers, and information on climate change processes including government-led climate change interventions with the participation of CSOs.

The strategy empowers CSOs to participate in governance and their own development by addressing climate change gaps within governance processes as well as enhancing CSO capacity to effectively engage, while at the same time offering informed perspectives that complement government’s work through enhanced participation.

The project was launched in December 2017 and officially began implementation in January 2018.

 

The Pan African Climate Justice Alliance has partnered with Morocco-driven Adaptation of Africa Agriculture Initiative (AAA) to enhance the voices of smallholder agricultural farmers and climate - resilient agriculture in international climate change discourses.

At a workshop hosted by AAA during the 2018 Crans Montana Forum, a South-South convergence at the Coastal City of Dakhla on 15 – 20 March 2018, PACJA Secretary General Mithika Mwenda decried the deliberate alienation of agriculture in the climate change response measures. “Agriculture is the backbone of the African economies yet it has taken long to anchor the sector in climate change responses”, he said, welcoming the historic decision adopted by countries in Bonn during the Fiji-hosted COP23, which outlined a plan of action for agriculture in negotiations among other key issues.

Agriculture and food security was one of the themes at the Forum, which brought together more than 1,000 participants from around 100 countries to exchange ideas and build partnerships on emerging global challenges affecting Africa and the global South.

“No one will solve our problems but ourselves”, said Mr. Mwenda, answering a question from participants who wanted to know why countries in Africa are dependent on the North even on the simplest of ideas and solutions. “African countries possess massive natural and human capital yet we are unable to solve myriad of problems ranging from climate change, malnutrition and food insecurity, migration, unemployment and terrorism”, he said, pointing a finger to the leaders whom he accused of failing to inspire their citizens in building confidence on themselves. More than a decade since many African countries attained independence, he noted, many Africa countries are still dependent on their former colonial powers.

Prof. Riad Balaghi, the AAA Chief, welcomed the partnership with PACJA, expressing optimism that the Alliance will use its vast constituency and convening power to further the objectives of agricultural adaptation and resilience in ensuing negotiations under United Nations. “We delighted to welcome PACJA and thank the Coalition for supporting this African Initiative”, said Prof. Riad. “Over the last months since the establishment of AAA, the Alliance has come out powerfully to back us, and we feel emboldened to serve our African brothers and sisters in the best way we can under this partnership.”

Climate change & Agriculture

Under what is referred to as Koronivia joint work on agriculture, the UNFCCC set up in November 2017, a series of consultations which will be conducted through workshops and expert meetings. Taking into consideration the vulnerabilities of agriculture to climate change and approaches to addressing food security. Issues around agriculture the consultations will consider modalities for implementation of the outcomes of the five in-session workshops on issues related to agriculture and other future topics that may arise from this work as well as  methods and approaches for assessing adaptation, adaptation co-benefits and resilience. The discussions will also revolve around improved soil carbon, soil health and soil fertility under grassland and cropland as well as integrated systems, including water management.

Under consideration is improved nutrient use and manure management towards sustainable and resilient agricultural systems, improved livestock management systems and socioeconomic and food security dimensions of climate change in the agricultural sector.

“We should robustly participate in this process and ensure pertinent issues to African smallholder farmers are at the centre-stage of discussions, and this partnership will deliver this for the benefit of the African people” emphasized Mwenda.

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