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[Ambassador report] THEMATIC REPORT -THE FUTURE OF KENYA'S MARINE POLICIES (NOVEMBER)

by Kalori Wesonga | 06-12-2019 06:24 Comments 4 Comments recommendations 0 recommendations



Can the youth of Kenya have a voice in marine policy formulation in Kenya? I never thought we could, but I was proved wrong. From the 14th to 17th of November 2019, I took part in the 2019 Bayer Youth Summit, a collaboration between Bayer Pharmaceuticals and Kenya’s Ministry of Environment to facilitate policy formulation by youth in Kenya.


Those taking part in the summit were mostly university students from different majors including agriculture, law, environmental science and engineering. The purpose of accommodating diverse fields of study was to leverage as many perspectives as possible heading into the policy proposals. We began by first simulating the 25th United Nations Climate Change Conference in Madrid, Spain using the Climate Rapid Overview and decision Support Simulator(C-ROADS). C-ROADS is a climate change simulation model used by the United Nations senior officials and various governments in policy making. From here, we were able to take role play as different countries in trying to align national goals to the Paris Agreement. Almost immediately, it became clear how national economic interests sometimes hinder climate negotiations. For example, the urge of developing countries to use fossil fuels as a cheap industrial resource for their development can jeopardize their climate change commitments. One thing was clear from the simulation, whatever actions we took needed to be immediate! Taking up different ecosystems, we then focused on Kenya’s climate change policy strategy. My team and I took up Kenya’s marine environment.


The Indian Ocean is Kenya’s only marine resource. A disenchanting reality dawned on us while conducting a situation analysis on marine resources in Kenya, with reference to the Indian Ocean.  Legal, scientific, journalistic and empirical references were hard to find and even less data exists on the flora and fauna within Kenya. However we managed to find data on the threats facing the marine ecosystem. Using the C-ROADS simulator, we focused on creating a nexus between the threats to marine ecosystems and the policies that would potentially reduce or eradicate the resulting destruction of marine ecosystems.


One of biggest challenges was unsustainable over-exploitation of marine resources by locals at the coast. A challenge is that most of these locals, who live by the ocean, are illiterate and therefore have very little knowledge of the cause and effect of their actions.  This is reflected in dwindling fish stocks in Kenya’s portion of the Indian Ocean and destruction of mangrove forests. Further, local industries often dump industrial waste, unchecked into the ocean. These were among the most pertinent issues we sought to address through the following 5 policy proposals:


Integration and rehabilitation of all public and private institutions to include marine climate change education into their agenda. For example through the teaching of climate change sciences at schools.


2.    Promoting the empowerment as well as full participation of women, locals, youth and disadvantaged persons in all marine conservation efforts through blue economy investments. These are likely to take the form of tax subsidies for green businesses.


3.    Creating coherent and focused legal, institutional and implementation frameworks to oversee the protection of the Marine environment by:

a)       Demarcating and protecting the limits of coastal marine habitats, most especially the mangrove forests and river sources.

b)      Promotion of reliable environmental impact assessments before the instigation of developmental projects.  For example, the Lamu coal power plant.

c)       Enforcing and implementing limits on marine flora and fauna exploitation by both the government and civil society

4.     Reinvigorating inland waste disposal facilities by supporting the construction/ creation of inland waste processing and recycling facilities.

 

5.      Allocating and increasing the national budget funding in support of research for:

a)       Acquisition, development and application of modern and traditional knowledge and the utilization of the ensuing technologies in the formal and informal marine environmental issues.

b)      Local and international collaboration in facilitating marine and clean seas scientific research.

c)       Creating a high value environmental intelligence database to monitor and evaluate marine environmental issues.


In January 2020, I will join youth leaders from different universities across Kenya in presenting these policy proposals to Kenya’s Ministry of Environment as a Tunza Ambassador and law student. The natural process that would then proceed is for policy experts to fine tune the proposals, before they are adapted by the Environmental Ministry, and later enacted into law through Parliament. Though the outcome is uncertain, I am hopeful the journey to a sustainable future has already begun with these policy proposals.

 

REFERENCES:

       International Union For Conservation of Nature( IUCN) species list, red list

       Constitution of Kenya 2010

       Kenya National Environmental Policy 2013.

       UNDP Sustainable Development Goals

       United Nations Blue Economy Strategy

       Kenya Vision 2030 Agenda.


BAYER YOUTH SUMMIT

4 Comments

Hyeongmin Mentor

  • Hyeongmin Mentor says :
    Hello Kalori

    It's good to see you participating in the summit full of environmental ideas. In fact, there are plenty of opportunities that you, as a youth, can get involved in. I realized the fact reading the reports from the other ambassadors.
    About the exploitation of marine resources in the coastal area, people have to have the further point of view. It's important to make living with the marine environment, but the most important things is to live in harmony with the surrounding nature.

    I hope you continue getting involved in environmental actions.

    Keep up with the great work.
    Posted 12-12-2019 06:34

Lisa Mentor

  • Lisa Mentor says :
    Hey Kalori!
    This is your mentor Lisa:)

    I think you have done an amazing job as a tunza ambassador, taking part in the Bayer Youth Summit!
    I can see that you have shared some great ideas with other amazing young people and the ideas not necessarily limited to the marine environment that you have suggested are great:)
    I hope that you guys get to have a real change be made in your country with the ministry of environment and even if the proposals are not taken, I think this whole process and discussions are valid and meaningful themselves.

    As one of the most important factors to consider when pursuing sustainable development goals that include the environmental agendas is the inclusion of all, I certainly do agree with you in terms of the importance of participation of women, youth and all members of society in resolving these issues!
    Please do keep up your good work and let us stay tuned:)
    Posted 09-12-2019 16:39

Kushal Naharki

  • Kushal Naharki says :
    Hello Kalori

    I do hope that you are fine and doing great with your works.
    Thank you for your report about THE FUTURE OF KENYA'S MARINE POLICIES

    Green Cheers from Nepal :)
    Keep writing great reports.
    We are eager to read more reports from you.

    Regards,
    Kushal Naharki

    Posted 07-12-2019 12:48

Okoth Okoth

  • Okoth Okoth says :
    Hello man. Thanks for the good report.

    Can you email me wr see how we can work as Tunza team.
    pabotoyo@gmail.com
    Posted 06-12-2019 13:01

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