Following our 3 hour-discussion on climate change, emerging issues and potential solutions with reference to different contexts and geographical regions, the following points are some of the key issues that came up. The discussion was themed: Solutions to combat climate change and emerging issues and was coordinated by Biophilic conversation with the participation of several players including our own Caroline Kibii, Team leader and coordinator, Enviro Wild Initiative. The conservation was held on Twitter Spaces.
The slum communities, also known as informal settlements, although they have a significant impact on the development and advancement of Nairobi City as the capital of Kenya and an important economic and socio-political hub in Africa, are highly vulnerable to climate change.
“Humanity faces many threats, but none is greater than climate change. In damaging our climate, we are becoming the architects of our own destruction,” Prince Charles, U.K. As we struggle to meet our needs and greed, we have ended up doing many activities that not only harm the environment but also ourselves. Many plant and animal species have gone extinct due to human activity. Human activities that are harming the climate include deforestation, using fossil fuel, industrial waste pollution, destroying wetlands, soil degradation and many more.
Trees and forests offer diverse ecological and socioeconomic benefits to humans irrespective of their geographical location. However, trees and forests are hardly available and are inaccessible in most urban areas mainly because of the continued population increase and development activities.
Climate change impacts on fishing are widespread and affect the social and economic activities within the coastal region.
Realising that climate change will likely be experienced in the foreseeable future, the fishermen noted that they had taken some adaptive measures. A fundamental reason is that fishing is their primary source of livelihood, and it is like a career they are unwilling to let go of despite the challenges they encounter.
Mombasa, one of the coastal towns in Kenya, is widely known for its warm to hot weather, leaving people from winter countries craving it. For years, we have witnessed an influx of local and international tourists; some travel thousands of miles to enjoy the Mombasa heat.
While climate change impacts continue to devastate several communities in varying magnitudes and scales, coastal communities suffer unique climate-related risks whose implications call for urgent action.
As is already known, climate change affects everyone. All people suffer the consequences of climate change. However, the most vulnerable groups, such as those in informal settlements, mostly slum areas, often known as the urban poor, are at greater risk.
The first plenary session on Positive Tipping Points for Transformative Change at the GLFClimate hybrid conference alongside COP26 demonstrated the need for a multisectoral and integrated approach towards keeping warming to 1.5°C. Everyone has a role to play by committing to lowering their emissions.
Forests are critical ecosystems that benefit the environment and biodiversity and affect the nature of human existence.
Plastics directly contribute to increased emissions in the atmosphere resulting in a warming effect. Plastics come from fossil fuels.
It would be practical to address the plastic menace from the source. This means stopping the production of single-use plastics. For other plastic products designed to be reused, emphasis should be on the quality, durability and raw materials used.
Since the ban on plastic carrier bags came into effect in August 2017, we have witnessed tremendous positive changes, including a change in individual perception towards plastic materials.
Air is life. Clean air is healthy. Humans, plants, and animals need clean air to survive. Quest for clean air is impossible in big cities like Nairobi, characterized by heavy industrial production and continuous developments
According to the 2018 assessment on land degradation and restoration by the Intergovernmental Science-policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem System (IPBES), human activity is responsible for degrading more than three-quarters of global lands
It is estimated that nearly 230 million hectares of land in sub-Saharan Africa are degraded, resulting in a lack of grazing lands, low land productivity, poor and variable biomass production, and lack of crop resilience to climate extremes.
According to FAO, Africa lost 3.9 million hectares of forest area every year between 2010 and 2020, compared to 3.4 million hectares between 2000 and 2010
Lakes in Baringo, Kenya, are being threatened by the continued degradation upstream. Human activities such as farming, deforestation, and charcoal burning are intense.
Population growth demands more settlement areas forcing many people to deforest large tracks for space and timber, poles, and posts.
Sustainable Tourism Earth Camp is a hidden gem overlooking Lake Elementaita and the famous sleeping warrior and Ugali hills. It has been in existence since 2019. It is a destination less known to many but treasured by the few that have been there. It is a spot that attracts mainly cyclists, individuals, and families that…
Animal identification: The Nairobi National Park is rich in several animal species, including birds. Because the count requires specification of the particular type of animal or bird, it provides an avenue to critically analyze and identify the animal before recording the counts
2021 Nairobi Earth Optimism Virtual Summit is upcoming from 29th March to 4th April 2021 under the theme Restoration
Lamu archipelago, with its beautiful white sandy beaches, sand dunes, mangrove forest, and tranquility, is being threatened by poor waste management and especially plastic pollution.
In 2019, Kenya’s President gave a directive banning single-use plastics in protected areas like forests, beaches, parks, and conservancies. The directive was to take effect on 5th June 2020.
By Caroline Kibii Parthenium pullout 2021 started with a hive of activities at the Nairobi National Park, one being the Parthenium pullout, an action that primarily attracts conservationists; most, if not all, are members of the Friends of Nairobi National Park. This time, the activity attracted members, friends, and employees of Sri Sathya Sai International…
Pollution in protected areas is a major problem threatening the prosperity of biodiversity. The challenge intensifies in areas where heavy human traffic is witnessed. It is worse during this era of a global pandemic that has grounded many to domestic tourism.
In the wake of bans on single-use plastics by many countries worldwide, waste management remains a huge challenge.
Parks are biologically rich; they are sanctuaries and havens to many animals and plants. Any slight human error endangers their survival.
A weed that hinders cultivation, resistant to drought, sprouts almost immediately after uprooting and poisonous. Prosopis Juliflora!
Lake Baringo, a freshwater lake, is famous for its islands, unique bird species, hippos, and crocodiles. The lake region is inhabited by diverse communities from the Tugen, IlChamus, and Pokot communities.
Fire incidences constantly ravaging forests, parks, conservancies, and other protected areas is not a new phenomenon. It is a challenge experienced far and wide, in developing and developed countries, caused by both human-actions and natural aspects.
Climate change has in the recent past orchestrated debates, misunderstandings, and misinformation. As it stands now, climate change is a human problem that has found itself at the center of political discussions.
Covid-19 came at a time when the world least expected. It halted every activity and plans; reduced events to virtual.
The curfews, cessation of movement, lockdowns, and restriction to access to certain areas left most urban dwellers, especially in Nairobi, to find solace, strength, and revitalize in the few available parks, gardens and forests.
I echo the arguments of fellow scientists who believe that- planting a zillion trees is not enough to address climate change. Reducing carbon emissions should be given a stronger focus than it is receiving now
I am a little concerned about the poor disposal of the face masks. We know for sure most of these masks are single-use products.
On April 1, 2020, the COP bureau of the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change), with the UK and its Italian partners, decided to postpone the COP26, which was to take place in Glasgow. COP26 was to be hosted by the UK in partnership with Italy in November 2020.
we are facing a global pandemic. A monster that has costed several lives; destabilized the day-to-day operations of both young and old; rich and poor; third-world and superpower nations. THE PLANET IS CLOSED FOR REPAIRS! Coronavirus, better known as COVID-19, is a source of misery.
WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic after it became a global problem. The situation is worsening every day as new cases are recorded. Countries that had previously not registered any coronavirus case have at least one or more trials testing positive while many are in quarantine.
The much anticipated SEforALL Forum, which was to be held in June 2020 in Kigali Rwanda, has been postponed until 16-18 February 2021 because of COVID-19.
On March 3rd, 2020, we celebrated the World Wildlife Day with the theme “Sustaining all life on Earth” while urging everyone to ‘Do One Thing Today to help conserve the world’s biodiversity.’
Kenya’s Finance Act 2019 that was consented into law on 7th November 2019, resulted in a couple of amendments, including the reduction of the corporate tax for companies operating plastic recycling plants. The tax reduced by half from 30% to 15% a move the Kenya Revenue Authority says it is a way of encouraging the recycling of plastic products with a long-term goal of reducing potential harmful effects on the environment
Why We Should Prioritize On Clean Cooking Solutions For The Sake Of Human Health and the Environment
The use of open fires is an everyday affair in most developing countries, Kenya included. It is almost obvious for any rural home in our country to have the 3-stone fire, let alone improved clay-cook stoves.
Lake Bogoria, formerly known as Lake Hannington, positions itself as a unique marine ecology with an unusual array of microbes, hot springs and hosts millions of flamingos every year. Lake Bogoria is an alkaline lake considered to be twice as salty as seawater. That means fish cannot survive in it.
At 4.30 am, we embarked on an exploratory journey from Nairobi to climb Mt. Kenya with one intention, to get to Shipton’s camp, 4200m above sea level, which is the last point before climbers try to submit the peaks; Nelion, Batian, and Point Lenana.
Mt. Kenya is the second-highest mountain in Africa and the highest in Kenya at 5199m above sea level. Exploring Mt. Kenya presents you with rivers, springs, rare plant and animal species, dense forests, glaciers, and snow. You get to experience high altitudes, alpine, and montane vegetation
What we know about Climate change and energy Climate change is undeniably a global problem that requires urgent action from all quotas; private and government agencies from the grassroots to national and the international communities. The effects of climate change have been felt far and wide both in the developing, emerging and developed nations- remember…
A few months later, Emma co-founded an organization called TOWARDS A BETTER INITIATIVE (TBEi), with a primary objective of promoting environmental conservation and protection through education, tree planting initiatives, cleanup exercises, and educative open forums.
A few years ago, climate change was not close to reality among most farmers in Kenya. Climate change was a non-issue; it was business as usual for them. The start and end of short and long rains were known to everyone. It rained almost the same time every year.
You will either encounter an elephant carrying one or more humans crossing the road or several warning signs of ‘elephants crossing.’ If you wish to explore further, go inside the villages, you will come across elephants chained and tethered within a short radius. Domestication is evident
The lake has been inscribed as a UNESCO biosphere reserve in Myanmar hence joining the World Network of Biosphere Reserves but faces massive pollution from the residents and tourists
Old Bagan is one of the oldest most visited places in Myanmar because of its thousands of pagodas dating back to the 11th century. Bagan was inscribed as a UNESCO world heritage site in 2019.
Old Bagan, to date, remains one of the protected and reserved areas the country treasures.
The situation in Myanmar needs serious attention. Other nations can learn from it. Lack of environmental regulations on air quality that govern against dangerous emissions is an apparent problem in most developing countries that, if not checked, will cost many lives
In the past, little was done to conserve the environment. The effects of those damages are being felt far and wide by everyone irrespective of their social, political, or economic classification.
Thus, it is paramount to bring up a generation that knows the value of what is within their surroundings, how to care for them, and sustainably utilize them.
We now need to acknowledge the significance of trees beyond the economic value. Practice tree growing as opposed to the ceremonial tree planting. Nurture them. Prioritize it to avert the potential damage resulting from soils left bare. Practice agroforestry if you have a small portion of land.
I advocate for a circular economy. In that case, I think renewable energy is the way to go if we need to manage the ever-growing population cheaply while minimizing the harm we cause on our environment. Clean energy is a source of good health.
The ban is supported under Kenya’s 2010 Constitution article 42 that mandates the government to assure and provide a safe and clean environment for all Kenyans.
Article 69 of the same constitution, on the other hand, mandates the state to eliminate activities and processes that are likely to damage the environment.
If the bank decided to fund the coal project, then it would be leading by double standards and would have betrayed the citizens of Kenya and the world who have been against the project from the beginning.
Speaking to Grace during the Clean Cooking Forum 2019 that took place in Nairobi from 5th to 7th November, she draws her inspirations from the late Prof. Wangari Maathai’s
Hummingbird story, ‘I will be a Hummingbird: I will do the best I can.’
As we advocate for clean cooking energy solutions as one way of addressing climate change and reducing illnesses associated with polluting energy sources, we must take these discussions closer to the main victims.
On the 3rd day of my stay in La Digue, we decided to take a walk around the island. We planned to complete the full circuit. After ¾ of our walk, we encountered a challenge, it started drizzling, the tide was high, and the waves were strong. I wasn’t brave enough for it, so I turned back. Remember, I could not ride a bicycle- I walked alone.
Household air pollution has been described as a silent tsunami during the ongoing Clean Cooking Forum 2019 taking place in Nairobi.
World Health Organization says 3 billion people globally still cook and heat their homes using polluting fuels such as kerosene, wood, and dung, while over 4 million people die every year prematurely of indoor pollution.
Turning wastes into energy sources such as briquettes is another approach that is becoming popular due to the rising demand, especially among the urban folks who do not want to use the normal charcoal because of the health and aesthetic implications associated.
I spoke to a few youths during a Renewable Energy Leadership Program for young in Africa held in Arusha Tanzania
While the progress towards achieving a 100 percent renewable energy planet is encouraging, the potentials of the rural communities to generate energy has not been exploited fully. They lack the necessary support.
The greatest hindrance is the bureaucratic tactics to an extent the excess energy goes to waste, yet the citizens have no access to power.
The congestion in major towns causing massive traffic jams is brought about by the increasing personal cars and small public service vehicles. Instead of having 500 cars each day with just one occupant each, why not hop into a bus, reduce congestion, save time, reduce air pollution, and address global warming.
Inculcating a tree planting culture, particularly among children at a young age develops a generation of persons who are cautious about their surroundings. The children will grow up knowing that they are responsible for a clean and healthy environment. The children will not allow the destruction of green spaces; they will champion for their conservation.
Instances of heatwaves in Europe, the United States of America, and across Asia to Africa have been recorded. It is a global problem. Hurricanes and cyclones are now occurring even in areas that were least expected. Rains have become erratic- farmers dependent on rain-fed agriculture are profoundly affected which eventually result in low yields hence food shortage.
Capacity building on the significance of conserving the forests is paramount. Without knowledge and understanding, it would be useless asking people to be your gatekeepers. Educate young people about nature and allow the community to participate in natural resource management.
I ask the Ministry of Environment through the Cabinet Secretary CS. Tobiko not to relent in this quest to save Mau. Do not let politicians cloud your judgement. Do not postpone this project; don’t even let it cool down. Let it be done once and for all. While still on that, consult with the relevant agencies, give people notices, affirm your stance, and act as the law directs. Leave a lasting legacy, just like the late Prof. Wangari Maathai did.
I am pro-forest conservation. Essentially, I support the eviction. However, the evicted persons should be relocated to other areas that they can call home and continue their regular activities — a place where the children will be able to continue their education.
If the forest is not protected, then we risk clearing all trees that act as windbreaks, carbon sinks and regulate climate among other functions. A forest of such a vast magnitude like Mau if deforested will turn into a desert. The springs, rivers, and lakes whose tributaries start from the forest will dry up. Underground aquifers will dry up. Water is life, without it might be the end of us.
Despite the notable increase in forested areas when we compare the year 2000 and 2016 as per the figures above, people’s need to meet their daily demands continue to destroy natural habitats. Because of the threats animals are exposed to, they are forced to migrate in search of safer areas.
Unfortunately, my actions will deny my grandchildren or even my children a chance to see certain animals. They will only read them from history books just like I did about the passenger pigeons that were common in North America only to be wiped out of existence on the arrival of Europeans who hunted them for meat.
Fighting climate change calls for worldwide collective action. We need to speak in one voice. Every nation needs to commit to reducing the number of carbon particles it emits into their atmosphere as a result of their daily operations.
The lake is drying, leaving muddy areas that trap animals who frequent the lake for water. Elephants are regular victims. Water hyacinth is another disaster choking the lake. The lake is a critical resource to the county, especially the tourism sector. Thus, it is the responsibility of the county government to be at the forefront of saving the lake
The effects are long-term and irreversible. Why would we want to create a world that is uninhabitable to us and our future generations? Barely a month ago there was a heatwave across Europe. A few days ago, another heatwave was reported to be responsible for several deaths in the United States of America.
Such occurrences signal serious problems ahead if we continue to go on business as usual without considering the potential consequences of our actions.
The fact that these cars are silent reduces noise pollution common with fuel-powered cars; are electric hence uses renewable energy thus reduces the amount of fossil fuels burned ultimately reducing the amount of carbon particles escaping into the atmosphere. Renewable energy is clean; no exhaust fumes being generated therefore air pollution does not occur.
The World Oceans Day 2019 was celebrated on Saturday 8th June with one core aim- to stop ocean pollutions. Pollutants in the oceans end up in our bodies through food, water, and air; thus, it is time to say NO to #PlasticDiet by taking charge of our wastes.
We have reached a point where we are scared of the outcome of a dead sea. Can you imagine how it will feel, smell, and look like when you live or work close to a dead sea? By this, I mean, where there is no life in the sea; when all aquatic plants and animals are dead and rotting.
The major water towers in Kenya are under threat of deforestation. Aberdares and Mau forest complex are among the areas that have been threatened by human settlement, agriculture, and logging. The country’s population is growing, encroachment into such vital sites is not about to end not unless viable strategies are applied.
In the quest of keeping our environment clean, reducing the amount of solid wastes generated is critical. Recycled materials depending on what they are, encourage innovativeness and appeals to senses.