Researchers, academicians and senior government officials have said that evidence based research and proper land management are key in mitigating adverse effects of climate change in the country.
The researchers said that the recent prolonged drought and floods that had affected over 5 million people in the country causing loss of livelihoods and acute food security can be addressed through evidence based research that gives effective solutions.
The researchers, academicians and the government officials were speaking during the 2nd, Regional Research Conference on Land and Natural Resources themed ‘Responding to Climate Change through Land Governance in the Region’ held at the Kenya School of Government, Nairobi.
The two-day conference aims to generate policy recommendations to support mainstreaming of climate action and access progress on carbon trading in the region, as well as collate, synthesize and share knowledge related to Land governance and climate change adaptation, mitigation, capacity building and technology with relevant stakeholder among others.
In concurrence, the Cabinet Secretary for Education Ezekiel Machogu said his ministry was implementing the school for carbon offset project to reduce greenhouse emissions in learning institutions.
The CS who made the remarks at the conference in a speech read on his behalf by the Principal Secretary for Basic Education Dr. Belio Kipsang said the climate focused project will contribute towards the realization of Kenya’s nationally determined contribution of reducing emission by 32 percent by 2030.
“Under this programme we have piloted steam cookers in six schools; Kwale Boys High School, Kwale Girls High School, St. John’s Kaloleni High School, Madogo High School, Garissa High School and Nairobi School,” announced Machogu.
According to UNICEF’s recent studies, if only 16 percent of high school pupils in high and middle income countries received climate change education, carbon dioxide emissions would be reduced by approximately 19 gigatons by 2050.
The CS noted that the effects of climate change has been felt in the education sector in both Kenya and the region, adding that severe weather events such as floods often destroy infrastructure and learning materials thereby interfering with the school calendar and attendance by learners due to closure of schools.
“These severe weather events of floods and drought lead to emergency displacement of persons and forces nomadic communities to move in search of food, water and pasture,” he stated.
He singled out malnourishment, parental involvement in the education of their children, reduction of household incomes and changing of domestic work patterns in search of water, and increased burden from weather related diseases as some of the factors that undermine school attendance.
Machogu at the same time announced that his ministry was finalizing on the draft Kenya Education Climate Change Strategy 2023-2027, which constitutes the ministry’s action plan for the next four years besides implementing other programmes among them the Schools for Circular Economy Initiative, which aims to set up three schools per county as recycling centres.
The CS said the education ministry is set to plant 35 million trees, and to generate 200 million seedlings across the country.
The Chairman National Lands Commission (NLC) Mr. Gerishom Otachi said the Commission will use the recommendations from the conference to relook and review processes and procedures in land allocation, monitor and oversight land use planning and for valuation and compulsory land acquisition among others.
“It is our desire that through this conference, we shall find a way through which the programme prioritizes issues of land governance as an ingredient towards successful climate change mitigation and adaptation,” he emphasized.
He noted that since climate change is a result of human induced factors, land governance can be identified as one of the underpinning critical catalysts that influences the human induced factors.
By Bernadette Khaduli