Kenya pledges improved land-use practices to halt desertification

Friday, June 19th, 2020 00:00 |
Keriako Tobiko (C), Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Forestry plants a tree during World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought, in Nairobi, capital of Kenya. (Xinhua/Charles Onyango)


Kenya's ministry of environment will enact new policy and regulatory tools to promote sustainable land-use practices and halt rapid desertification linked to human activities and climatic shocks.

Keriako Tobiko, Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, said the government has already developed new guidelines to promote management of land and forests amid rising threat of desertification.

"We have put in place sound policy and legal frameworks to promote management of natural resources such as land in order to contain spread of deserts in semi arid parts of the country," Tobiko said.

He spoke during an event to mark the 2018 World Day to Combat Desertification whose theme was "Land has true value. Invest in it."

Kenya is signatory to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) after ratifying it in 1997.

Tobiko said the government and bilateral partners have invested in public awareness, reforestation and renewable energy to enhance response to climate change induced desertification.

"The enactment of climate change act has given impetus on our national programs to reverse desertification. We are also implementing several projects to restore degraded landscapes in the arid and semi arid regions," said Tobiko.

He said that investment in climate resilient farming and pastoralism is key to combat desertification effectively.

Tobiko said Kenya will promote sustainable production and consumption models as a means to improve management of vital ecosystems that could act as a buffer against spread of deserts.

Charles Sunkuli, the Principal Secretary in the ministry of environment and forestry, said that investments in land regeneration will not only halt desertification but also stimulate economic growth.

"Sustainable land management will cushion rural communities from the risks associated with desertification including extreme poverty, hunger, water scarcity and resource based conflicts," Sunkuli remarked.

He said that Kenya's goal to achieve 10 percent tree cover by 2022 will revitalize the war against desertification. (Xinhua)

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