PACJA and ACPC/UNECA are gearing up for a high level side event on the sidelines of the upcoming 2019 African Union Summit in Addis Ababa running from 8-9th February that will interrogate the nexus between climate change and migration in the continent. This is in line with the declared theme of AU as the year of Refugees Returnees and Internally displaced persons
This is in the background that large numbers of people are already and will be displaced from their homes and land through the frequency and intensity of natural disasters, sea level rise and depletion of drinking waters and other vital resources. Furthermore, the unplanned and planned displacement of people as a result of climate change triggers multiplies stress factors, including conflict. Governments are beginning to act: COP24 adopted a landmark set of recommendations to respond to the growing risk of displacement linked to climate change Yet, without far stronger efforts to reduce emissions, tens or hundreds of millions more people in Africa and the rest of the world face displacement.
Critically, developed countries remain evasive on their responsibility to support African countries to adapt and mitigate the effects of the climate change crisis and to provide assistance to these vulnerable communities – for example public climate finance for Least Developed Countries(LDCs) and adaptation is being neglected, and grants are being increasingly replaced by loans. This should ring bells of concern in the context of warnings about the rising burden of debt that already causing multiples challenges in some African Countries and the future African debt crisis in general. CoP24 agreed rules designed to give the confidence that long promised support will be delivered, yet loopholes remain, and follow-up work is needed to ensure additional and adequate support reaches those those who need it most
Appropriate strategies should be advanced to address the causes of climate-displacement, and to take measures for these people’s resettlement and rehabilitation in a dignified way. More importantly, adequate assistance and protection for people who are displaced internally and
across borders should be availed through appropriate policies and programs.The 2019 African Union theme, “the year of refugees, returnees and internally displaced persons” is thus an opportunity to raise the profile and make climate migration more prominent
than ever. This is the year for African policy makers to provide guidance and build
understanding on the subject.
The recommendations made at the CoP24 ask countries to consider creating new laws and policies to deal with displacement, to enhance data collection and research on migration, and to consider the needs of migrants themselves—and of the communities where they end up. The high level event hosted by ACPC/UNECA and PACJA will deeply reflect on the trends and conversations on the nexus between climate change, displacement, migration and conflict, and come up with recommendations for the Heads of State Summit. A way forward and plan of
action for subsequent conversations and outreach will also be developed.
The theme Innovative solutions, covering policies, financing, technologies, partnerships and multi-stakeholder processes – are key both to solving many environmental challenges, as well as accelerating sustainable development more generally. This recognition of the need of transformative change to support Agenda 2030, already highlighted in at the 2nd and 3rd sessions of the UN Environment Assembly, directly underpins the choice of the overarching theme for the fourth session of the Environment Assembly by Member States in Nairobi in March 2019.
The UNEA IV will be preceded by the Global Major Groups and Stakeholders Forum (GMGSF) which will take place on 7th -8th March, 2019. This will forum facilitates Major Groups and Stakeholders’ participation in the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) of UNEP and associated meetings. This year’s forum is being facilitated by PACJA alongside the Civil Society Unit of UNEP.
Accredited Major Groups to United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) of UNEP are automatically invited to the Global Major Groups and Stakeholders Forum (GMGSF). During the Regional Consultative Meetings (RCMs), Major Groups’ organisations select representatives of each of the six UNEP regions which cover the entire globe.
The world’s first dhow made out of recycled plastic has set sail from Lamu in Kenya to Zanzibar. Named Flipflopi, the dhow is made from plastic trash which was collected from the Kenyan coastal towns and beaches. The 14 day trip will see the dhow make stops along the way to raise awareness about the 12 million tonnes of plastic waste being dumped in the ocean every year.
According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), each year more than 8 million tonnes of plastic ends up in the oceans, wreaking havoc on marine wildlife, fisheries and tourism, and costing at least $8 billion in damage to marine ecosystems. Up to 80 per cent of all litter in our oceans is made of plastic.
Waste plastics, mainly from Lamu’s beaches, were used to construct the entire boat. The keel, ribs and structural elements are all made from recycled plastic including bottles and bags, whilst the hull and decking is covered completely by re-purposed flip-flops
Backed by UNEP Clean Seas Initiative, the Flipflopi sets sail on the first overseas expedition, travelling 500 Kms to raise awareness about marine plastic pollution. The Flipflopi team will also be visiting schools, communities and government officials along the way sharing solutions and changing mindsets.
The Flipflopi is a project run by a volunteer-group that was founded in 2016 by one Ben Morison who was inspired to come up with the idea after witnessing the shocking quantities of plastic on Kenya’s beaches
During the Blue Economy Conference, hosted by Kenya in November 2018, governments committed to protect oceans, seas, lakes and rivers. The FlipFlopi-Clean Seas Expedition comes a month before the next UN Environment Assembly in which more than 150 ministers of environment will gather in Nairobi
The team has been invited to participate in the United Nations Environment Assembly in Nairobi due to take place on the 11th to 15th March and will set an example of what is possible when you think about plastic as re-usable, part of a circular rather than linear economy.
PACJA and the Kenya Industrial Estates (KIE) are at advanced stages of exploring possible areas of collaboration between KIE and PACJA aimed at supporting SMEs in Kenya to build their resilience to climate change and tap into opportunities in the evolving green economic growth. KIE is a Kenyan parastatal mandated to promote entrepreneurship by financing, incubating and facilitating the development of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
Most SMEs in Kenya use inefficient production systems characterized by limited infrastructure, old machinery, power outages, high power tariffs and frequent water shortages, all occasioned by climate change. These impact on the SMEs’ supply chains and overall productivity.
This necessitates that SMEs be equipped with skills to assess, monitor and adapt to climate-related risks. Additionally, supporting the SMEs to access information, technology and innovation increases their ability to prepare for future adaptation response. The need for SMEs to move to low carbon pathways and embrace green economy provides them with opportunities to produce adaptation products and services.
This collaboration between KIE and PACJA offers opportunity for the two to work with SMEs in selected counties in Kenya. Establishment of innovation and incubation hubs will be fundamental for new business models that will address transition risks and challenges in accessing green finance by the SMEs. This was underscored in a meeting between PACJA’s executive director Mr. Mithika Mwenda and the Managing Director of the Kenya Industrial Estates (KIE), Dr. Parma Ole Nakirae.
As a result of this collaboration, KIE will focus on green economy by mainstreaming climate change into their activities and lining SMEs to access Global Environmental fund and Climate Change funding.
PACJA and Climate pal led stakeholders in a workshop to share views on the project design, social and environmental impacts of an energy-efficient cook-stove project called Hifadhi – Livelihoods Cook-Stove and tree planting Project, which was developed under Gold standards and is being implemented by Climate Pal, in partnership with the Livelihoods Fund. The project is aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions; mitigating climate change and deforestation. Improved Hifadhi cook stoves and tree seedlings will be provided to 60,000 local households in different sub counties in Tharaka Nithi.
This workshop which was held on Tuesday, 15 January 2019 in Tharaka Nithi county is one among the many successes from the joint project: Resilience and Climate Change Adaptation currently being implemented in Tharaka Nithi by Trocaire, PACJA and CARITAS of the catholic Diocese of Meru. The stake holders shared views and comments on the project design, social and environmental impacts to assist in the successful implementation of the project.
Benefits of the Hifadhi Cook Stove
The Hifadhi Cook Stove uses approximately 60% less fuel compared to the traditional three-stone stoves. Since less wood will be needed, less trees will be cut thereby saving time and money on wood collection. This will in turn provide more efficient and healthier cooking methods, reduce smoke emissions and protect the forests. Women and youth will be empowered to constructively use their saved time on other constructive activities. Training will be done to enlighten the communities on tree planting, forest conservation, climate change and environmental conservation.
Benefits of Tree planting
The project also encourages families to create woodlots or food forests through the distribution of a minimum of 3 seedlings per house hold. This is aimed at creating sufficient wood-fuel to fulfil household needs, provide alternative sources of income and conserve the nearby forests and river lines.
Within the month of Jan 2019, similar workshops will be replicated at all sub counties to create more awareness. The project will be monitored and evaluated annually in order to assess the user satisfaction and the environmental friendliness of the stove.
The Pan African climate justice alliance (PACJA) is currently in Uganda to explore the possibility of developing a civil society SDGs platform whose objective will be to hold the Ugandan government accountable for the implementation of the SDGs by putting pressure on the government to honour its commitment to the implementation of the Goals.
This will be a first step towards realization of the SDGs in the East African region which has notably reported slow progress in the achievement of these Goals.
This will provide a major boost to the post 2015 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDGs) which intertwine economic, social and environmental aspects to sustainable development. They also feature important additions to the successes of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), including climate change, economic inequality, innovation, poverty alleviation, peace and justice.
Strengthening Partnerships for the Effective Implementation of the Agenda 2030 in East Africa
The mission arises from PACJA’s GIZ funded project which aims to accelerate the implementation of SDGs specifically: 5 (Gender Equality), 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), 10 (Reduced Inequality); 13 Climate Action; and 17 (Partnerships to achieve the Goal). The project which is being implemented in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania is aimed at the achievement of agenda 2030 in East Africa.
Specifically, the project will put in place integrated and coordinated interventions at all levels aimed at strengthening cross-sectoral coordination among line ministries and partnerships between key stakeholders, such as community groups, CSOs, NGOs, the private sector, academia, the media and policy makers to ensure coherence between the SDGs implementation and the Paris Agreement.
Using lessons learnt in Kenya in the Voluntary National Reporting process (VNR), the project will support CSOs in Tanzania and Uganda to report on the progress made on the SDGs implementation and champion for 2030 Agenda to be embedded in the countries’ national political and social process.
Cumulative Achievement of the SDGs
These efforts will collectively contribute to PACJAs efforts in accelerating the implementation of the 17 SDGs which are interconnected. For instance, achievements in Climate Action will impact on availability of Clean Water and Sanitation, Affordable and Clean Energy, Responsible Consumption and Production, Life Below Water, Health, Gender Equality, Sustainable Cities and Communities; and ultimately Forming Partnerships to Achieve the Goal.
Mr. Augustine Njanmnshi, the Alliance Technical and Political Affairs Chair
The Pan African Climate Justice (PACJA) will Co-Chair the Civil Society Committee of the African Bank in the next two years, till 2020. At a Statutory meeting held at the Bank’s Headquarters in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Mr. Augustine Njanmnshi, the Alliance Technical and Political Affairs Chair was unanimously elected in the position, which is crucial in the premier African financial institution’s outreach to civil society. He will Co-Chair the Committee with the Bank’s Vice-President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development, Jennifer Blanke.
Established in 2000, the AfDB Civil Society Committee seeks to provide the structure for a broader, deeper and more consistent engagement with the CSOs in Africa and beyond, and aims to position the civil society as key partners in development in the continent.
In his acceptance remarks, Mr. Njamnishi, who is also the Coordinator of the African Coalition for Sustainable Energy and Access (ACSEA), thanked the civil society representatives from various thematic groups for having confidence in him and PACJA, and promised to ensure a strengthened collaboration between civil society and the Bank.
“I take this opportunity to salute the personal conviction and commitment of President Adesina Akiwumi who has ensured the engagement of the civil society is not just a rubber stamp, but something real,” he said, appealing to the Bank Management to facilitate further engagement with the civil society beyond the traditional meetings. “In order to ensure continuity,“ he emphasized, “ we request the Bank to facilitate a face-to-face meeting between our team and the outgoing committee so as to build on their strengths as well as shortfalls.”
In spelling his vision in leading the Committee, Mr. Njamnshi promised a transformed relationship with the bank, drawing from PACJA’s convening and outreach power, and particularly connection with the communities. “I know the question on many minds would be what my team do differently,” He noted, “we want to be that committee that believes that the Bank’s name and influence in the communities should not be read on billboards of Projects, that the Bank should be known as the Pan African Institution, that engages, informs, consults and involves the people on the ground in its development efforts.”
The Tuesday 15 January 2019 Civil Society Committee Statutory Meeting was held at the backdrop of the Bank’s increasing recognition of the role of non-state actors in its strategy, which is anchored in the High five Priorities (Light up and Power Africa; Feed Africa; Industrialize Africa; Integrate Africa; and Improve the Quality of Life for the People of Africa) and ten year strategy (2013 – 2022).
Congratulating the ACSEA Coordinator for clinching the seat, Mr. Benson Ireri, the Christian Aid African Regional Advisor on Climate Change and Energy, who also serves in the AfDB Committee representing International NGOs urged Njamnshi to provide strategic leadership which will bring the Bank closer to the people to ensure its responsive to critical issues such as choices of energy and development paradigm.
“ We particularly look forward to constructive engagement as allies rather than adversaries with the Bank,” said Ireri, “ for instance, a conversation on the choice of energy we should use in the climate-constrained world where the African continent is at the frontline of climate impact is very crucial at the moment.”
The PACJA Executive Director, Mithika Mwenda welcomed the election of Mr. Njamnshi, and assured of the Alliance support in the pursuit of the Committee mandate, “ from the outset, “ said Mwenda, “ the entire infrastructure of PACJA is at the disposal of the Committee to ensure its vision is achieves.”
Climate Finance Thematic Working Group (TWG) was formed to ensure accountability and to facilitate monitoring and tracking of climate finance flow in Kenya. Under the Kenya National Platform on Climate Governance, the group seeks to involve other civil society organizations and non-state actors in understanding and facilitating cross cutting information on Climate Finance Governance in Kenya.
With support from CARE Kenya, TWG held a workshop in Taita Taveta County with an aim of enhancing capacities of the stakeholders on climate finance governance and improving their readiness for the green climate fund (GCF). The workshop spurred conversations on policies, legislations and laws that are relevant in the climate finance space, nationally and at the county level.
The workshop identified the viable points of synergy that can ensure proper and effective linkages between the National Climate Change Action Plan [II] and Taita Taveta County Integrated Development Plan.
The Integrated Programme to Build Resilience to Climate Change and Adaptive Capacity of Vulnerable Communities in Kenya: A case of Taita Taveta
The Adaptation Fund Programme is designed to enhance resilience and adaptive capacity to climate change in Taita Taveta County. The project aims to help communities within the county to respond to effects of Climate Change through integrated water management aimed at enhanced food security.
Kenya was accredited by Adaptation Fund board to access finances from the Adaptation Fund in 2012 through the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA). The Authority developed a programme titled, Integrated Programme to Build Resilience to Climate Change and Adaptive Capacity of Vulnerable Communities in Kenya. The programme started in January 2016 and is being implemented in 14 Counties in Kenya.
For effective implementation of the programme, a field implementation committee (FIC) benchmarks the project’s implementation. Each Executing Entity is required to conduct a baseline survey in order to establish benchmark/baseline level for the progress, at the beginning of the programme implementation. FIC is composed of representatives from National Environment Management Authority, Water Irrigations Department, county commissioner, County ecosystems conservator, World vision and school representatives.
One of the key initiatives that NEMA has initiated is construction of roof catchments (and water pans for rainwater harvesting for domestic and agricultural use. The objective of the programme is to establish infrastructure for water harvesting, storage and irrigation targeting 4 schools from each sub-county namely: Kajire Girls Secondary School, Mwakishime Primary School, Orkungu Primary School and Mgeno Primary School. The schools were selected through participatory consultation approach by the ministry of education and other stakeholders. Each of the four schools will benefit from a ferro-cement water tank with a capacity of 50m3.
Rainwater harvesting is particularly important for these groups because:
- Rainwater can be used directly or stored for future use
- Stored water can be used to revitalize the ground level water hence improve its quality
- Stored water can be used to raise the level of ground water making it easily accessible.
- Stored water prevents wells and tube wells from drying up hence increasing soil fertility
- Harvesting rainwater checks surface run off of water and reduces soil erosion.
Each of the schools will also be given woodlots which will be planted by the students on the school
grounds. The woodlots will be beneficial to the school because:
- When mature, they can be used as fuelwood or sold as timber to generate revenue for the school thereby reducing reliance on fuelwood from neighboring forest ecosystems;
- The woodlots form a vital part of the schools’ environmental club and curriculum and act as a live demonstration for forestry and agriculture-related topics;
- The trees can be sold as saplings to the surrounding community thereby generating income for the school;
- Planted around the school, the trees will enhance the school’s beauty;
- The trees will control soil erosion and water run-off.
For effective implementation of the programme, a field implementation committee (FIC) benchmarks the project’s implementation. Each Executing Entity is required to conduct a baseline survey in order to establish benchmark/baseline level for the progress, at the beginning of the programme implementation. FIC is composed of representatives from National Environment Management Authority, Water Irrigation Department, county commissioner, County ecosystems conservator, World vision and school representatives.
Other coastal counties implementing similar programmes are Kilifi and kwale which targets Mangrove and Coral reef rehabilitation.
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