The UK partners with the UN to Combat Climate Change in Kenya

partnership to combat climate change
Ms. Nardos Bekele-Thomas UN Resident Coordinator (left) exchanges signed project documents with Ms. Lisa Phillips, the Head of DFID in Kenya

Nairobi, 26th February 2014…  The United Kingdom will support Kenya expand its response to climate change with a contribution of £1.1 million (Kshs140.1 million). This will be made possible through a joint United Nations project aimed at fostering climate change adaptation and mitigation in Kenya.  The project will seek to reduce poverty by addressing existing and emerging climate change and environmental management issues in the country. The project forms part of DFID support to the implementation of the 2013-2017 National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP).

Climate change and environmental resource management present a very real threat to Kenya’s economic development and is in some instances already undermining efforts to reduce poverty and achieve Vision 2030 and the Millennium Development Goals.  The country’s economy is highly susceptible to climate variations due to its heavy reliance on rain fed agriculture, pastoral livestock production and tourism, which are all dependent on nature. These economic sectors are the bedrock of the economy and employ a large proportion of the country’s population. By managing the environment effectively and limiting the effects of climate change, many livelihoods will be protected and sustained.

Further still, the country has a long history of environmental degradation, deforestation, pollution of water bodies, conversion of wetlands, unsustainable agricultural practices, and overgrazing. These have over time contributed to the high level of climate change vulnerability of many communities especially those residing in the arid of semiarid parts of the country.

Speaking during the signing ceremony of the partnership agreement, the DFID head of office, Ms. Lisa Philips said:

We all depend on a healthy environment, but it’s the world’s poorest people – those who are also least responsible - that have most to lose from climate change and are less equipped to cope with the effects of climate change.  We need to help them adapt so they can continue to develop and lift themselves out of poverty.  The UK is committed to supporting Kenya’s efforts to combat the adverse effects of climate change and to promote low carbon climate resilient development.

The United Nations Resident Co-coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative Nardos Bekele-Thomas said the United Nations has identified climate change as one of the key cross cutting UN interventions in Kenya and therefore the project will be implemented by ILO, UNDP, UNEP,UNESCO, UNIDO and UN-Habitat.

The combination of UN agencies involved in this program approach creates a unique set of competencies toward offering an innovative programme and expertise to support the Government of Kenya.”

The project will help the country respond to climate change challenges through an integrated programmatic response that will harmonize activities of Government agencies, NGOs and CSOs. Some of the key priorities of the program will include working with communities towards mainstreaming pro poor climate change adaptations such as sustainable biomass productions, country planning and budgeting process.  These will be achieved through:


·         Mainstreaming pro-poor climate change adaptation and mitigation in the national and county governments planning and budgeting process

·         Promoting renewables and sustainable biomass production in Kenya

·         Enhancing sustainability and employment  creation in the building and construction industries

·         Catalysing low carbon transport in Kenya and Addressing illegal wildlife trade.


In addition, DFID has contributed £600,000 (Ksh. 76 million) to support Government of Kenya work in the extractive industry sector.  This support channeled through UNDP will go towards ensuring equitable management of resources and conflict prevention for sustainable growth.  This will promote sustainable human development in natural resource management.

For more information please contact: Mwendwa Kiogora Amanda Lawrence-Brown

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