Restoration of Wetlands, Highlands Vital-CS Soipan Tuya

Cabinet Secretary for Environment Soipan Tuya on Monday called for collective action from the county and national governments, as well as youths, women, and local communities, to restore wetlands and highlands.

She was speaking during a forum that focused on addressing the restoration of degraded lands, highlands, and wetlands. The forum enabled the tabling and discussion of insights on how to enact the restoration of wetlands and degraded lands in a sustainable manner that would entail the inclusion of local communities.

The Cabinet Secretary said that the restoration of wetlands and highlands is essential for the health of the environment and the well-being of people. She noted that wetlands and highlands provide a number of important services, such as water purification, flood control, and biodiversity conservation.

The Cabinet Secretary urged all stakeholders to work together to restore wetlands and highlands. She said that the government is committed to providing the necessary support for restoration efforts.

“I acknowledge the work that counties do in the environment, climate change, and forestry, and it is for this reason that I will seek to strengthen the partnership between the ministry and county governments in the life of my administration. This meeting is the beginning of these engagements that will be part of the policy implementation continuum to help deliver the country’s environment mandate and promise,” she said.

The effects of the climate crisis in Kenya are unmistakable, with the population experiencing reduced food production caused by prolonged droughts and unpredictable floods. To counter this, President William Ruto has launched a campaign to plant 15 billion trees, aimed at mitigating the situation.

The Ministry of the Environment has prioritized wetlands restoration as part of the Government’s flagship project of expanding Kenya’s tree cover from the current 12.3 to 30 percent by 2032 by growing 15 billion trees over the decade. This is with an emphasis on the main thematic areas of ecosystem restoration through the 15 billion tree-growing programs, circular economy, and climate action.

Complementing the agendas is a push for amending the Climate Change Act, the CS revealed that this is to “deliver a carbon markets framework that is transparent and has integrity” because of the market’s great potential to finance Kenya’s climate change mitigation and adaptation programs.

According to Principal Secretary for Environment and Climate Change Festus Ng’eno, it’s vital for the creation and strengthening of intergovernmental ties as the County government works on the ground with national government support.

Further lauding the Council of Governors for their focus on ensuring that counties operate efficiently and are supported in the journey of fighting climate change that has become a menace to our society.

 “As county governments, your governors at the last summit in Naivasha committed to allocating 20 percent of FLOCCA funds to the 15 billion national trees growing program. As officers in charge of the sector, please use your good offices to ensure that these commitments are realized,” the CS told the executives in conclusion.

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