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Gov’t urged to integrate climate change concerns

The government has been advised to integrate climate change concerns in all her national development plans, programmes and policies

Speaking at the Nairobi Summer School on Climate Justice currently ongoing at the Kenyatta University, Dr. Joseph Kurauka said rapid population growth, weak enforcement of environmental laws and structural weakness in key institutions meant to enforce laws to safeguard environmental, social and climate change concerns, are hampering national efforts to prepare the country against climate impacts.

“Climate-related conflicts among populations living in arid and semi-arid areas, rising poverty level, and the general negative attitudes towards environmental matters are issues the government has to deal with,” said the Kenyatta University don.

Dr. Kurauka urged the government to take heed of the advice from the latest climate science by the Intergovernmental panel on climate change whose latest report has once again proved that human activity is leading to rise in climate variability.

Already, noted Dr Kurauka, Kenya’s coastal line and the aquatic resources are affected as a result of man activity.

Speaking on the international climate change negotiations, Robert Muthami, Programme Coordinator with the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Kenya Office noted that Africa continued to be worst hit by the climate crisis even exacerbating climate related-risks.

Muthami said it was important that local national adaptation actions are provided with the required means of implementation such as climate finance, capacity building and appropriate technologies in line with the conditional aspects in the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and the principle of common but Differentiated Capacities and Respective Capabilities (CBDR-RC).”

He urged African governments to forge international solidarity and form strong alliances with the CSOs in the fight against the climate crisis saying, “No single movement will win this fight alone”

Mithika Mwenda, Executive Director, Pan African Climate Justice Alliance challenged young people in Africa to rise up to the occasion and take the advocacy mantle to drive climate activism around Africa.

“The liberation wars of the 60s were about political freedom. Now the youth must wage war for ecological freedom, climate justice and economic freedom,” said Mithika

He urged the youth to draw inspiration from freedom fighters such as Kwame Nkrumah, Nelson Mandela and Julius Nyerere and ensure that Africa gets fair and just climate regimes.

By Wangari Ndirangu

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