UNEA-6 Set to Convene Global Leaders in UNEP

Kenya is gearing up to host the sixth United Nations Environment Assembly, known as UNEA-6 from February 26th to March 1st, a 3-day high-level conference, that comes barely a month after the 2023 annual United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that was spotlighted by the Africa Climate Week in Nairobi, during which the African Leaders Nairobi Declaration on Climate Change and Call-to-Action was agreed upon and unveiled.

Thanking the government for its support and partnership in hosting the sixth UN Environment Assembly during a press briefing in which UNEP Executive Director Inger Andersen, condoled with the country on the Embakasi Gas explosion, the director highlighted that the world had a must-do list, a responsibility to address the triple planetary crisis: the crisis of climate change, the crisis of nature and biodiversity loss, and the crisis of pollution and waste.

She reiterated the importance of addressing the crises at UNEA-6 whose impacts have been evident over the past few years with record high temperatures and low agricultural yield coupled with health issues arising from exposure to pollution and chemicals.

Applauding the COP28, during which countries resolved to move away from fossil fuel and the Loss and Damage fund became operational, with US$700+ million pledges coupled with a new Global Framework on Chemicals and the first full year of operation of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework.

As a global response to the crisis, Director Inger Andersen pointed out that the UNEA-6 needed to become successful. She outlined six emerging issues that would take center stage in the discussions: mining, water distribution, reformation of the International financial system to make it sustainable, and solar radiation modification.

With the need to go further and faster on the efforts to mitigate the impacts on the environment, this year’s event will focus on stronger multilateralism, with a Youth Environment Assembly, convened by youth for youth, leadership dialogues on finance, science, data, and digitalization, and multilateralism to create united and amplified action.

Executive Director UNEP Dr. Inger Andersen and Cabinet Secretary for Environment Hon Soipan Tuya

Kenya’s cabinet secretary for the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Forestry, Hon. Soipan Tuya during the UNEA-6 press briefing stated that 70 high-ranking cabinet ministers and over 3000 delegates had confirmed their attendance, which is expected to rise in the week leading to the event.

She further pointed out President Dr. William Ruto’s administration’s commitment to finding solutions to the country’s environmental challenges as illustrated in the rolling out of programs like Kenya’s National Landscapes and Ecosystem Restoration Strategy, the anchor blueprint for the flagship 15 Billion National Tree Programme aiming for a 30% tree cover by 2032, and review of environmental laws like Climate Change Act, Forest Act, the Environmental Management and Coordination Act (EMCA) and its regulations among others. She also highlighted the need for communities to take adaptive steps, intimating the government’s move to make the meteorological department autonomous to improve its operations.

During the event which will have 20 draft resolutions to be discussed and more than 20 side events to be held at lunch breaks and evenings, Kenya will hold a side event on circular economy to appreciate the strides the country has made in implementing waste policies to address pollution control and best practices in circular economy and extended producer responsibilities.

Thanking UNEP for facilitating the setup of the Kenya House at the venue to showcase Kenya’s rich cultural heritage, climate action potential, and touristic offering to visiting delegates, the CS reiterated the need for UNEA-6 to enhance the solutions to the Triple Planetary Crisis.

1 Comment

  • Kwabe Victor
    Posted February 9, 2024 8:58 am 0Likes

    keep it up

Leave a reply