Remarks delivered by Walid Badawi, UNDP Resident Representative for Kenya
Ms. Betty Maina, Principal Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forestry,
Dr. Godfrey Nato, The Committee Executive Member for Energy, Environment and Waste Management, Mombasa County
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is my pleasure on behalf of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to join you today in this REDD+ Academy.
I wish to extend a very warm welcome to you all, the participants, to this REDD+ Academy which is intended to enable a systematic, focused capacity development to deliver REDD+ on the ground in Kenya.
REDD+ academies have been conducted in other countries including Indonesia, Nigeria, Uganda and Madagascar but for Kenya this is the first. It is therefore indeed a milestone for Kenya and an honour for you as the first to receive the training.
First and foremost, let me thank the Government of Kenya for the strong commitment over the years to UN sustainable development agenda and to commend you on the great strides you have made in addressing climate change, an instrumental step in delivering on UNFCCC contributions and the Sustainable Development Goals.
This training is taking place at a crucial time, as we embark on the implementation of the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) REDD+ Readiness project, for which UNDP is a delivery partner for Kenya. Besides Kenya, UNDP is also a delivery partner for the FCPF in other countries including Cambodia, Honduras, Panama, Papua New Guinea and Suriname; and we will draw from our extensive work in these countries in our support to Kenya.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Climate change presents one of the most compelling development challenges in our world today. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2018 released a scientific report indicating the urgent need to limit global warming to 1.5℃, or below. This can only be achieved by stopping the rise in greenhouse gas emissions.
Globally, approximately 17% of greenhouse gas emissions are generated through forest loss and forest degradation. An estimated 9% of intact forests worldwide were opened up to degradation and deforestation in the first decade and a half of the 21st century. In Kenya, it is estimated that 12,000 hectares of forest is lost each year through deforestation. About 12% of the Kenya’s land area was originally covered by closed canopy forests, over the years this has been reduced to about 1.7% of its original size, due to demand for fuelwood and charcoal, population pressure for settlements, infrastructure, demand for wood products and conversion to agriculture.
UNDP recognizes the bold measures Kenya has taken to secure the country’s development against the risks and impacts of climate change. These are efforts that contribute to SDG 13 on Climate Action and the achievement of the Paris agreement.
Through our work within the United Nations Joint Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (UN-REDD), the Central Africa Forest Initiative (CAFI), FCPF, the Community Based REDD+ programme with UNDP’s Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme, and the Governors Climate and Forests Taskforce Initiative, amongst others, UNDP supports countries in REDD+ readiness to develop national REDD+ strategies and investment plans, which provide the overall vision, policies, measures and actions to address deforestation and forest degradation. In doing so, we have applied robust social and environmental safeguards to ensure that indigenous peoples, local communities, forest dwellers and forest dependent communities are benefiting from efforts to mitigate climate change.
Together with other partners, UNDP has successfully supported National REDD+ readiness processes in Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Uganda and Zambia amongst others.
In line with the above-mentioned, we are confident that the work on REDD+ in the various countries, can serve as a model for how to nurture strategic partnerships that can successfully support REDD+ efforts in Kenya.
Ladies and gentlemen,
As I conclude, let me re-iterate UNDP’s support and commitment to this process, utilizing our “integrator” role in mobilizing partners and working collaboratively with government, communities, private sector, civil society, to deliver on the MTP III, the SDGs and 2030 Agenda. As UNDP through our CPD 2018-2022, we look forward to accelerating our own commitment and support to the REDD+ process in Kenya and to working with all partners to take ambitious action to leave no one behind.
I thank you all and look forward to a constructive and fruitful REDD+ Academy