Nairobi: Kenya charts path to save natural resources at the Somalia border

Environment CS Prof Judi Wakhungu speaks at the IGAD Ministerial meeting that recently adopted the Regional Biodiversity Policy. Looking on is IGAD Director Mohamed Moussa and a Head of EU delegation Deejak Stefano.
Environment CS Prof Judi Wakhungu speaks at the IGAD Ministerial meeting that recently adopted the Regional Biodiversity Policy. Looking on is IGAD Director Mohamed Moussa and a Head of EU delegation Deejak Stefano.

Kenya has signed a new policy that will protect water and other natural resources straddling across the country’s borders.

The policy will mostly recognise the shared resources, including landscapes, between Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia.

The police was signed by environment cabinet secretary Prof Judi Wakhungu and other ministers in charge of Environment and Natural Resources from each of the IGAD member states in Nairobi.

Prof Wakhungu said the set of regulations provide an opportunity towards harmonisation of national legal frameworks for effective protection and conservation of biodiversity.

Dr Debalkew Berhe, IGAD biodiversity management programme coordinator, said: “Biodiversity is a key resource that provides us with goods and services that are essential for climate regulation, provision of water, and sustenance of the livelihoods of many millions of people across the Horn of Africa Region,”

He said: “Despite its importance, the rate of degradation and loss of biodiversity is high in the IGAD region. This policy will ensure a sustained provision of ecosystem goods and services for current and future generations,”

The draft policy is the culmination of a two-year discussion whose process started back in 2014; a set of national policy assessments for each member State were synthesised in a report published in 2015.

Some proposals of the report are currently being tested in three demonstration sites – between Djibouti and Ethiopia, between Ethiopia and South Sudan and between Kenya and Somalia.

The Star

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