Sustainable Development


NAIROBI, Kenya (PAMACC News) - A recent study by scientists from the Kenya Markets Trust (KMT) has shown that temperatures in all the drylands had risen in the past 50 years, with devastating impact particularly on cattle and some food crops.

These findings coincided with a new report by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) released on the same day showing that the world is off track to meet most food and agriculture-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), with more than half of local livestock breeds at risk of extinction.

According to the Kenyan study, which was commissioned by the Canada-based International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) — through the Pathways to Resilience in Semi-arid Economies (PRISE), changes in climatic conditions were driving pastoral communities into dire poverty.

“In all the 21 counties, we observed a 25.2 percent decline in cattle population between 1977 and 2016 on average, with Turkana County alone recording a devastating loss of about 60 percent in the same period, and this is directly linked to the increased heat,” said Dr Mohammed Yahya Said, the Lead Investigator and a consulting scientist at the KMT.

These findings correspond with the FAO global report which shows that on average, 60 percent of local livestock breeds are at risk of extinction in the 70 countries that had risk status information. “Specifically, across the world, out of 7155 local livestock breeds, 1940 are considered to be at risk of extinction. Examples include the Fogera cattle from Ethiopia or the Gembrong goat of Bali,” FAO reported.

It notes that this could be even higher as for two thirds of the local livestock breeds, especially in Africa, the Middle and Near East and Asia, there is no data on the animals' risk status.  
According to Dr Said, changes in temperatures in Kenya are directly responsible for reduction of cattle population. “Our study found out that five counties have already surpassed the 1.5˚C mark, and such high temperatures are never good particularly for livestock,” he said.

The counties with the highest rise in temperatures include West Pokot and Elgeyo-Marakwet counties, which have recorded an increase of 1.91° C in the past 50 years, while Turkana and Baringo have both recorded (1.8° C) increase, Laikipia (1.59° C) and Narok (1.75° C) in the same period.

As a result of such occurrences, FAO reports that hunger is on the rise in many countries worldwide. “More than 820 million people are still hungry today,” says the report.

The number of hungry people in the world according to the UN has been on the rise for three years in a row, and is back to levels seen in 2010-2011. In parallel, the percentage of hungry people out of the total population has slightly increased, from 10.6 percent in 2015 to 10.8 percent in 2018.

Further, according to the UN, small-scale food producers - who represent the majority of all farmers in many developing countries - face disproportionate challenges in accessing inputs and services, and as a result, their incomes and productivity are systematically lower compared to larger food producers.

Even more badly, the UN report also warns of "no progress in conserving animal genetic resources and notes that ongoing efforts to preserve these resources appear inadequate". For example, less than one percent of local livestock breeds across the world have enough genetic material stored that would allow the breed to be reconstituted in case of extinction.

However, the conservation of plant genetic material was found to be faring on somewhat better.

At the end of 2018, global holdings of plant genetic materials conserved in gene banks in 99 countries and 17 regional and international centers totaled 5.3 million samples - a nearly three percent increase over the previous year. This is mainly due, however, to the transfer of existing materials to better, indicator-compliant storage facilities, rather than a reflection of newly added diversity collected from the field.

Efforts to secure crop diversity continue to be insufficient, caution the report, particularly for crop wild relatives, wild food plants and neglected and underutilized crop species.
However, according to KMT scientists, there is evidence that the Arabica coffee for example is getting extinct in Kenya and Ethiopia, while the yield from Robusta variety is going to more than double by the year 2050.

“These are very important findings for the country especially now that we are working towards the realization of the ‘Big Four’ development agenda,” said Mwangi Harry Gioche, the Director of Agriculture Research and Innovation at the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock Fisheries and Irrigation during the dissemination of the findings of the Kenyan study.

This tenure transition has been driven by a number of factors including land tenure reforms, and market and demographic changes. Population pressure is also creating more consciousness around land in the ASALs and this is translating into emerging tensions around ownership and use. Options such as integrated land management can help take into account both pastoralists’ needs, as well as emerging forms of more intensified livestock investments by establishing land use zones that allow both free movements of large herds as well as livestock intensification under private land tenure. Land zoning can be facilitated through appropriate enabling policies and spatial planning processes.

Such integrated frameworks should provide security to pastoralists and enable them to negotiate for various financial, livelihood and technological opportunities in light of climatic shocks and changing tenure regimes.


MOMBASA, Kenya (PAMACC News) - Cameroon’s Monique Ntumngia, founder of ‘Green Girls’ a social business, which educates young women from rural communities in the use of renewable energy, is the winner  of the 2019  WWF International President’s Youth award.

According to a statement from WWF,The award recognizes young people under the age of 30 helping promote the cause and impact of nature conservation. Nominations are invited annually via WWF offices around the world.
Since its founding in 2015, Green Girls has empowered and trained almost 800 women from 23 communities across Cameroon to generate solar energy and biogas from human waste. As well as her outstanding contribution to promoting sustainable development in the country, the award is a recognition of Monique’s efforts to champion the inclusion of women and girls in the renewable energy sector in Cameroon and Africa.
On receiving the award, Monique said: “It’s been my good fortune that Green Girls has allowed me to combine two of my great passions: sustainable development and female empowerment. Renewable energy is an essential part of any solution if we are to meet both Africa’s future energy needs and the environmental challenges that lie ahead. Today’s youth will be at the forefront of meeting these challenges and women will have a central role to play. Thanks to the tireless work of my team and the boundless enthusiasm of countless young women, we’ve managed to make some significant progress and it’s truly humbling to be recognised for our work.”
Through Green Girls’ work, more than 3,000 households have been provided with biogas, while more than 100 households have had solar installations fitted. In addition to being trained on how to produce biogas, young women are taught how to promote sustainable development and become financially independent. In 2017, Monique was also crowned the winner of the inaugural WWF Africa Youth Award.

“At a time when we are witnessing the devastating loss of nature and biodiversity and imminent breakdown of climate systems, risking the very foundation of human existence, Monique and these amazing women give us hope and show what is possible. Not only is Monique promoting renewable energy that benefits the environment, she is also empowering hundreds of young women across Cameroon. She is a shining light, setting an example and showing us all that development and protecting the environment can go hand in hand,” said Pavan Sukhdev, President, WWF International.

The 2019 WWF International President’s Youth Award was awarded to Monique in Mombasa, Kenya on June 13.
 It should be recalled that in 2017  Monique Ntumngia was crowned the winner of the inaugural WWF Africa Youth


NAIROBI, Kenya (PAMACC News) - With ten years of active interest in tree conservation and sustainable forest management, members of the African Forest Forum demonstrated  their experience in hands-on plants-man-ship at a tree planting spree to boost the Karura Forest in Nairobi.

The tree planting  exercise as part of the 10th anniversary celebrations according to the chair of AFF governing councils was testament to the green finger talents of the members.

“The tree planting segment is the most important aspect of the anniversary. It is a manifest of the mission and objective of the African Forest Forum, and also a demonstration of how the organisation connects with nature and humanity,” says Macarthy Oyobo, Chair of AFF Governing Council.

The Karura Forest where the 10th anniversary celebrations of AFF took place, sits proudly in the outskirts of the city of Nairobi, albeit tucked quietly away just off the hustling and bustling that characterize city life. It is a true forest of all seasons.

Professor Godwin Kowero, executive secretary on AFF that coordinated the celebrations and tree planting exercise , said they wanted to mark the anniversary in a significant way.

“AFF members are  lovers of nature and many of us learn lessons of life from nature. This explains why this planting exercise is very significant,” Kowero said.

He noted that trees were an important part of life, the solution pathway to the disturbing water crisis the world over.

“There are conflicts of water resources happening all over the world. Forest has a critical role in the solution to these growing water crisis,” Kowero said in his opening address at the anniversary celebrations.

AFF members from over 35 African countries attending the anniversary celebrations and also taking part at the tree planting exercise hailed the event, noting it was a footprint that will stand the test of time in the history of the now famous Karura forest.

“ The Karura Forest has made history in Kenya and by participating in this exercise we are being part of this history,” says Cameroon born Dr Martin Nganje, forest conservation consultant and member of AFF.

The tree planting exercise was organized according to countries with each group planting at least a tree.

Other highlights at the ceremony included speeches  from key partners like the ministry of environment and forest conservation,Kenya, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation,ECOWAS,Swedish Embassy Ethiopia, African Union Commission and management of Karura forest. This was followed by the launching of 8 teaching compendiums developed by AFF to help forest teachers, students, researchers and others better understand the complexities in forest issues.

Singing and cutting of the anniversary cake also galvanized the celebrations.

According to the management of Karura Forest, the reserve is an urban upland, one of the largest gazetted forest in the world fully within city limits. It covers an area of about 1,000 ha (2,500 ac) and today is a a shining example of how country-based corporate social responsibility and individual philanthropy can serve to secure and protect a country’s natural resources.

The forest offers eco-friendly opportunities for Kenyans and visitors to enjoy a leafy green respite from the hustle and bustle of the city to walk, to jog, or simply to sit quietly and experience the serenity of nature in all its diversity.

Accordingly, the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife in partnership with the Friends of Karura Community Forest Association have since embarked on an aggressive programme to secure Nairobi’s key natural resource.

The hundreds of African Forest members visiting the venue were unanimous the forest epitomizes a touristic pearl and gives an intimate feel that makes visitors feel at home.

“It beauty of the Karura forest gives the intimacy and feeling of being at home,” attest Almani Dampha of the Afican Unuion Commission.

With all Karura’s vast and vibrant beauty only a few kilometers from the heart of the city, it remains for Kenyans and visitors to lend their support by visiting the forest!


ACCRA, Ghana (PAMACC News) - Ghana’s President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, says his government has taken the policy decision to integrate climate action into the country’s national development agenda – the Coordinated Programme of Economic and Social Development Policies (2017- 2022).

According to him, the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 13, which demands urgent action to combat climate change and its impact, are providing the framework for Ghana to forge ahead in this direction.

Speaking at the R20 Austrian World Summit on Climate Change, the President revealed all local assemblies in Ghana have been mandated to address climate change issues in their medium-term development plans.

Upon assuming office in January 2017, his Government decided to clamp down on the reprehensible activity of illegal mining that has been destroying the nations’ forests and water bodies.

A ban has also been imposed on the harvesting of rosewood timber as one of the measures to protect Ghana’s forests and endangered species.

Also through the “Youth in Afforestation” Programme, over 20,000 youth have been employed to plant 10 million trees across the country, as a way of increasing carbon sinks in the country.

Towards realizing Ghana’s international obligations under SDG 7, on access to affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy, as well as SDG 13, President Akufo-Addo reiterated Ghana’s commitment of promoting the deployment of renewable energy, in line with government’s policy target of 10% renewables in the energy mix from the current 1%.

To this end, in the course of this year, Jubilee House, the seat of the nation’s presidency, will be powered by solar energy, as an example to other public institutions. The target is to install 200 megawatts of distributed solar power by 2030 in both residential and non-residential facilities, and in state agencies.

President Akufo-Addo revealed further that he has engaged a select group of CEOs from the private sector to push forward Ghana’s “Green Agenda”, in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals.

The response, the President stressed, has been very positive, with commitments to create a Green Fund, to be financed largely by the private sector, in place.

This Fund, he added, would be used to drive the nation’s Agenda of ensuring access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy for all in the country.

President Akufo-Addo stressed that “what we do in Ghana affects the people of Nepal, or Mozambique or Austria. That is why we need concerted Global action to tackle this menace. Success in addressing climate change will be one of the greatest legacies that our generation can give to the next.”

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