The Green Belt Movement acknowledges the fact that there is a serious focus on forests. Deforestation is a frequently overlooked source of carbon dioxide emissions and a significant contributor to climate change, as trees, which store carbon, instead release it when they are burned during slash-and-burn land clearing of forests. The GBMs commitment on this path is focused on the restoration of Kenya’s degraded landscapes, knowing full well that our survival depends on the integrity of these forest ecosystems.
Addis Ababa, 26 September 2014 – Yesterday, the African Union Commission (AUC), through its Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture (DREA), in collaboration with the Ministry of Forestry and Environment and the Environment Protection Agency of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia marked the 3rd Anniversary of the death of Prof. Wangari Maathai, Africa’s first woman Nobel laureate. The event was commemorated with a tree planting ceremony at the premises of the Commission.
This post originally appeared in http://www.au.int on September 26, 2014.
Green Belt Movement U.S. Board Chair Mia MacDonald and Wanjira Mathai, Kenyan Board Chair and director of the wPOWER project at the Wangari Maathai Institute, co-author a piece in The Huffington Post about Wangari Maathai's "hummingbird" tale and a call for climate action around the U.N. Climate Summit.
Climate change poses one of the greatest challenges facing the world in the 21st century. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC) notes that climate change, if not tackled, will have severe negative impacts on global water supply, agricultural yields, forest ecosystems and the spread of vector-borne diseases, and could result in the displacement of thousands of people from coastal cities and small islands. This has led the Kenyan government to put in place a Climate Change Action Plan 2013- 2017 to make sure the country is ready and able to adapt to and reduce these potentially devastating effects against the country and its communities.
Bringing Optimism to Build Trust and Political Momentum
Kenya played host to the first ever meeting of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA), heralding a new era of “global efforts to address environmental sustainability”. It kicked off in Nairobi from the 23rd-27th of June, 2014 - a lofty affair, attracting environmental ministers from over 180 countries, plus officials from governments and public bodies, economists and others to talk about saving the planet.
The Aberdares Forest is the source of drinking water for millions of Kenyans, including the population of Nairobi.
Last month saw the second round of United Nations climate talks take place in Bonn, Germany, from 4-15 June, with an outlook to make progress towards a legally-binding 2015 climate change agreement.
The conference included sessions of the UNFCCC Subsidiary Bodies , which between them look at the “what’s and whys and how’s” of climate change adaptation, mitigation, technology and finance that will eventually form the policies and practices of the climate change treaty. As well as the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform (ADP); this focuses on enhancing the mitigation pledges and actions of Parties and ensuring agreed and effective implementation by all. It came at the same time of an announcement by US President Barak Obama of a 30% reduction in power plant emissions by 2030 and the completion of the essential elements required for full implementation of the Green Climate Fund (GCF).
The African Leadership Forum 2014
31st July, 2014 - Former President of Tanzania, Benjamin Mkapa convened a one-day, African Leadership Forum in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The overarching theme of the forum, which was coordinated by UONGOZI Institute, was “Meeting the Challenges of Africa’s Transformation”.
22nd, July 2014: The Green Belt Movement (GBM), Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace and Environmental Studies (WMI),wPOWER Project took a lead in Training of Trainers (TOTs) exposure training aimed at unlocking women potential in Natural Resource Management and Clean Energy Technology. The training of Trainer course on Sustainable Clean Energy Entrepreneurship which is being held in Kenya has representatives from 6 countries including Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Nigeria and India. This training was made possible through the wPOWER project with the financial support of the US State Department with parallel support from the MacArthur Foundation.
As a part of its efforts to reduce the impacts of climate change the government of Kenya has identified the need to develop a comprehensive national carbon accounting system for Kenya (NCAS-K).