SPEECH BY FELIX KOSKEI, CABINET SECRETARY, MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE, LIVESTOCK AND FISHERIES DURING THE ADAPTATION TO CLIMATE CHANGE IN THE ARID AND

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1 SPEECH BY FELIX KOSKEI, CABINET SECRETARY, MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE, LIVESTOCK AND FISHERIES DURING THE ADAPTATION TO CLIMATE CHANGE IN THE ARID AND SEMI-ARID LANDS (KACCAL), LAUNCH AT FORMER KARI/NOW KALRO, HQS ON 9 TH SEPTEMBER 2014

2 My Cabinet Colleagues, Mrs Sicily Kariuki, Principal Secretary, State Department of Agriculture. Other Principal Secretaries, Mr. Francis Muthami, National Project Coordinator, Kenya Agricultural productivity and Agribusiness project (KAPAP) Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, 2

3 It gives me great pleasure to officiate at the launch the Adaptation to Climate change in the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (KACCAL) Project, within my ministry which is addressing issues related to climate change, which has become one of the greatest challenges to human development. The KACCAL project is being implemented by the State department of Agriculture, within the Kenya Agricultural Productivity and Agribusiness project, (KAPAP). Ladies and Gentlemen: The KACCAL project is a government of Kenya project, funded by Global Environmental Facility (GEF) through the World Bank. It will be piloted in 4 counties of Kilifi, West Pokot, Tana River and Garissa. The arid and semi-arid 3

4 lands (ASALs) require special attention if Kenya is to achieve sustainable economic development. KACCAL is consistent with government and development partner strategies and is aimed at enhancing the resilience of communities and sustainability of rural livelihoods threatened by climate change in the ASALs in Kenya. The objective of the project will be achieved through the strengthening of climate risk management and the natural resource base related knowledge; building of institutional and technical capacity for improved planning and coordination to manage current and future climate risks at the district and national levels. 4

5 KACCAls objective will further be achieved through investing in communities priorities in sustainable land and water management and in the offering of alternative livelihoods to them in ways that helps them adapt to climate risk. Ladies and Gentlemen: KACCAL s development objective is to improve the ability of participating districts and communities in the arid and semi-arid lands (ASALS) to plan and implement climate change adaptation measures. The ASALs require special attention if Kenya is to sustain economic development as they support 70% of the national livestock population, valued at estimated ksh.70 billion as well as supporting 90% of the nation s wild game species. 5

6 KACCAL s development objective is to improve the ability of participating Counties and communities in the arid and semi-arid lands to plan and implement climate change adaptation measures. Ladies and Gentlemen: The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has shown more clearly than ever before, that climate change is real, and that it has impacted every continent and all oceans. Consecutive IPCC reports make clear that we are ill-prepared to manage the risks of climate change and the impact it brings, and that global emissions of greenhouse gases are rising faster than ever before, despite reduction efforts. Climate change poses a severe risk to 6

7 global economic stability. Without urgent mitigation action, ending extreme poverty by 2030 will not be possible. Let me share with you all that the East African Community (EAC) has developed an East African Community Climate Change Policy (EACCCP) whose aim is to address the adverse impacts of climate change in the EAC region, and to contribute to development of policies and programmes in the region. Kenya has also developed a National Climate Change Response Strategy (NCCRS) through various stakeholders. This led to the development of the National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP), 2010 which was to actualize the NCCRS to a stage of implementation. 7

8 A National Environment Policy draft was spearheaded by the Climate change secretariat in the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resource through a participatory approach. This was followed by a National Climate Change Policy draft which is ready for submission to the cabinet. There is a Climate Change Bill, 2014 (draft) which has gone through the first reading in Parliament awaiting the second reading after it goes through stakeholders input. Previously there was no policy on climate change and if the bill is passed, this will guide the country in dealing with climate change issues. Ladies and Gentlemen; Kenya like other countries in the world, is highly vulnerable to climate change. This is because only 20% of the territorial surface area in Kenya is 8

9 classified as highly potential area receiving high amounts of rainfall to support agricultural productivity. The largest part of the country comprising of over 88% of the total territorial area is arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs) with minimal annual rainfall ranging from mm. However, over 80% of the total population occurs within the potential areas while only 20% of the population occurs in the vast ASALs comprising of ecological zones III-VII. In addition, the ASALs are dominated by pastoralists supporting over 70% of the livestock in the country. The Kenyan economy is based on agricultural activities which directly employ 64% of the total population. As such, natural resources comprise major source of livelihoods for majority of the population often leading to over-exploitation, unsustainable use and environmental degradation. However, Kenya is 9

10 currently facing high rate of desertification processes and environmental degradation as a result of climate change. Ladies and Gentlemen; Climate change is the significant variation of expected weather patterns of an area over a long period of time. Climate change is caused by emissions of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere mainly through human activities disrupting atmospheric balance and global warming and heating of the earth s surface. Climate change is caused predominantly through human induced activities especially the combustion of fossils fuels, deforestation to support both agriculture and settlements and other land use changes. It is estimated that the concentration of carbon dioxide has increased in the atmosphere from 10

11 270 ppm to 370 ppm over the past several decades. Climate is arguably one of the greatest challenges to human existence and survival. The situation has been aggravated by limited mitigation and adaptation measures thus threatening livelihoods and survival. Kenya like other countries in the world is experiencing adverse effects of climate change. Climate change has caused negative socio-economic effects across most sectors with the most vulnerable being agriculture and livestock, forestry, water, health, fisheries, energy, tourism as well as physical and social infrastructure. Some of the general adverse effects of climate change experienced in Kenya include, variations in weather patterns, specifically, reduced rainfall and failed 11

12 seasons, causing food insecurity, frequent and prolonged droughts and diminishing water resources, floods/flash floods and landslides and environmental degradation and habitat destruction. Other such adverse effects of climate change in the country results from resurgence of pests and diseases, loss of biodiversity, severe famine and hunger causing food insecurity as well as resource use conflicts Ladies and Gentlemen: Although climate change may occasionally result in positive and beneficial consequences such as high crop yield during El Nino rains, majority of the effects have an overall net negative effect likely to cause irreversible and detrimental changes to the various sectors. 12

13 Kenya must adapt to climate change through making the necessary adjustments, while putting in place the relevant mitigation measures to avert the magnitude of the effects. There is need for the country to seize the opportunities offered through Clean Development Mechanisms (CDM) and carbon trade. This will promote green economy through the use of alternative approaches in all sectors. It is on this basis that the rallying call, Together We Can tackle Climate Change in Kenya has been developed and adopted to mobilize stakeholders to address climate change at all levels. Ladies and Gentlemen: The Agriculture sector is extremely important to the economy of this country and livelihoods of its people. There is need to develop technologies and 13

14 innovations that are geared towards increased food production. These include development of fast growing crops, drought tolerant crops, early maturing crops such as Katumani maize composite. Other areas of focus include; irrigation, conservation agriculture and sustainable land management practices. This is confirmed by the exhibitions that we have already seen outside this building. Early warning data and information should be availed and disseminated in order to enhance disaster preparedness. The application of weather data and information is very critical in mitigation of climate change. This information guides farmers on the expected time and quantities of rainfall as well as the recommended type of crops to be planted. 14

15 Ladies and Gentlemen: Climate change is a cross-cutting development issue that requires high level political goodwill and support to effectively address the risks and maximise the opportunities it presents. For Kenya, adaptation to climate change remains the top priority to reduce vulnerability and enhance resilience of the social and bio-physical systems, especially the vulnerable communities and groups. Similarly, mitigation actions that deliver sustainable development benefits are of importance as the country strives to remain a low emitter in the context of the national economic development as set out in Vision Climate smart 15

16 strategies should be embraced in order to promote use of clean energy technologies for improved and sustainable livelihoods. Stakeholders should be encouraged to mainstream climate proofing and climate change responsive activities in their daily activities.the KACCAL launch today will play a key role in sensitization and creation of awareness for national leaders and other stakeholders on climate change and risk management for the agricultural sector. My Ministry has established a Climate Change Unit that will help in the steering and coordination of the various climate change initiatives within the Ministry. 16

17 It is my hope that together, we can effectively manage and control the effects of climate change, as well as ensure the production and provision of sufficient, safe and nutritious food for our citizens. The time to act is now. As a ministry, we sincerely thank the Global Environment Facility (GEF) for funding this project which is going to impact the livelihoods of various communities in our country, Kenya. Thank you and God bless you. 17

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