The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Ministry of Environment launched the inaugural training on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) academy in Kenya on Monday.
Speaking in Mombasa during the launch, the UNDP resident representative to Kenya, Walid Badawi said the academy will establish a cohort of capacity on issues of reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation to accelerate and help the country to achieve its ambitious targets of 10 percent forest cover.
The UNDP representative lauded government leadership both national and county levels for bringing together communities and stakeholders saying achieving the targets required concerted efforts.
The one week training comprise officials from government, indigenous communities, Academia, research centers and independent commissions, human rights, among others.
“It is not possible for any single actor or government, United Nations or any other stakeholder to achieve the ambitious targets on their own,” said Badawi.
He added that the REDD academy will for the whole week engage in deliberate and systematic process of training and capacity building stakeholders as they embark on the programme to drive the sustainable development goals particularly goal 13 on Climate Action and climate change.
“What we are doing in our projects is to help bring together multiple stakeholders in a systemic and concerted way not just meeting here for one week,” observed the UN envoy
The Principal Secretary Ministry of Environment and Forestry (PS), Betty Maina said the comprehensive training on afforestation will help mitigate deforestation which has contributed a lot in global warming.
“As a country we have adopted a policy and goal of increasing forest cover to more than 10 per cent by 2022 among other climate change action strategies to address deforestation,” said Ms. Maina.
She added that the ministry has also developed a strategy for accelerated forest cover, noting that deforestation did not take one day and to recover adequate time will be required and the participation of all stakeholders both at national level and at community level.
Maina said the programme aims to build a cohort of people that will train others so the country can work to develop new REDD+ strategy in keeping the global obligations under the Paris climate agreement.
She stated that REDD+ is a comprehensive shared strategy for re-afforestation, reduction of forest degradation by all not just the government.
“The forest officer cannot be present everywhere. We cannot only rely on forest service and the police we also need to take responsibility for environmental conservation using the traditional modes of preservation and enforce it today,” PS added.
She commended the communities and leadership around Mangrove forests in Lamu and Kaya forest in Coastal Kenya who recognize the importance of forest preservation.
By Joseph Kamolo