Friday, May 27, 2016

Leaders call for action to save the environment

By Protus Onyango
NAIROBI, Kenya (PAMACC News) - Calls for paradigm shift, a united approach, more funding and ratification of the Paris Agreement to tackle global environmental degradation dominated the high-level session of the UN Environmental Assembly (UNEA 2) yesterday.

Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta while officially opening the high-level segment attended by ministers and high-level representatives of over 170 governments, stressed the need for partnerships to address effects of climate change.

"For the past two decades, we have seen a movement emerge across the world that protecting the environment cannot be a tertiary matter. We must make sacrifices now to leave our children a viable tomorrow," Uhuru said.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Superstars join UN in the fight to combat illegal wildlife trade

Yaya Touré (Photo:

By Isaiah Esipisu

The United Nations in with the backing of world renown celebrities including world class soccer star Yaya Touré, a Brazilian fashion model, actress, and producer Gisele Bündchen, South Korean statesman, a politician and the Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon, and an American actor, model and film director Ian Somerhalder have launched a campaign to tame illegal trade in wildlife.

During the launch on the sidelines of the second United Nations Environment Assembly in Kenyas, Ban Ki-moon called on Governments and people everywhere to support the new United Nations campaign known as ‘Wild for Life,’ which aims to mobilise the world to end this destructive trade.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Cheap illegal timber trade costing the world economy billions of dollars

Timber harvested from Kakamega Forest in Kenya. (Photo: Isaiah Esipisu)
By David Njagi

NAIROBI, Kenya (PAMACC News) - Illegal logging is collapsing the world timber market, experts at the ongoing United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) meeting in Nairobi have warned.

Scientists accuse cartels involved in the fourth most profitable illegal trade of applying elusive tactics such as bribery and money laundering to deny the global economy billions of dollars.

Youth to use video to inform public about climate change trhough a competition

By Protus Onyango

Young people are invited to tell the world how they are shaping a more sustainable future by entering the second annual Global Youth Video Competition on climate change.

The competition, which is being run by Television for the Environment (tve) and is part of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change's (UNFCCC) Action for Climate Empowerment and Momentum for Change initiatives, will culminate in a high-profile awards ceremony in November 2016 at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP22) in Marrakech, Morocco.

Change global food system to combat hunger, use natural resources

Launch of the report in Nairobi
By Protus Onyango

NAIROBI, Kenya (PAMACC News) – A major overhaul of the global food system is urgently needed if the world is to combat hunger, use natural resources more efficiently and stem environmental damage, the International Resource Panel (IRP) says.

In its latest report, the IRP – a consortium of 34 internationally renowned scientists, over 30 national governments and other groups hosted by UNEP – calls for a switch to a “resource-smart” food system that changes the way food is grown, harvested, processed, traded, transported, stored, sold and consumed.

Increase in air pollution threatens more lives, but there is hope

Achim Steiner at the UNEA conference
By Isaiah Esipisu

NAIROBI, Kenya (PAMACC News) – About three billion people who depend on solid fuels and open fires for cooking and heating around the world are at risk of contracting cardiovascular diseases, despite efforts on the ground to reverse the trend, says a new report by UNEP  titled Actions on Air Quality.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), global urban air pollution levels increased by 8 percent between 2008 and 2013, putting affected people to a risk of early death due to diseases, such as strokes and heart disease, as well as cancer and respiratory diseases.  

According to the report, more than 80 per cent of people living in urban areas that monitor air pollution are exposed to air quality levels that exceed WHO limits, threatening lives, productivity and economies.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Kenya joins the search for a pollution free sky

By David Njagi
Searching for pollution free skies. Photo - Isaiah Esipisu

NAIROBI, Kenya (PAMACC News) - The noose is tightening around rogue enterprises which have turned Kenya’s cities and towns into smoke canopies.

An air quality control regulation that the National Environment Authority (NEMA) launched last year will soon enable the agency to fit vehicles and industries with a pollutant unit to monitor their volume of exhaust smoke.

“We are going to stick the unit on vehicles and industries valid for two years to find out if the owner is polluting,” explains Prof. Geoffrey Wakhungu, director general NEMA. “The ones found to be polluting will be forced to dump the dirty asset or find ways to clean it up.”

Report links illegal trade in wildlife to spread of zoonotic diseases

By David Njagi

NAIROBI, Kenya (PAMACC News) - Illegal traffic in live animals is one of the leading causes of zoonotic diseases spread around the world, a new report by the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) has warned.

The report, Emerging Issues of Environmental Concern, lists Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), avian flu, monkey pox and even ebola as some of the diseases which may have jumped species into the human genome.

Global Wildlife Programme to fight global wildlife poaching and trafficking crisis

Prof Judy Wakhungu at UNEA
 By Protus Onyango

NAIROBI, Kenya (PAMACC News) - Kenya is expected to benefit from the Sh9 billion ($90 million) Global Wildlife Programme to fight global wildlife poaching and trafficking crisis.

The World Bank in collaboration with other bodies have launched the programme, approved by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and meant to strengthen the ability and capacity of participating countries to combat poaching and illegal wildlife trade.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Poor Countries ready to work with the global community in combating climate change, says Tosi Mpanu-Mpanu

Tosi Mpanu-Mpanu - Chair of LCD Group
BONN, Germany (PAMACC News) - On the 10th-11th May the Least Developed Countries met in Bonn to prepare for the upcoming climate negotiations beginning on 16th May. This preparatory meeting has been an important opportunity for all LDC negotiators to come together and further develop the collective goals of the LDCs in light of the Bonn negotiations, during which work will begin on developing the modalities, guidelines and procedures for implementation of the Paris Agreement.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Kenya’s forests under pressure as government gags environment groups

By David Njagi
MERU, Kenya  – Ngai Mutuoboro, 70, may not wield the vibrancy of his youthful days, but he can still pack a punch when it comes to environmental conservation.

The elder from Tharaka Nithi County in upper eastern Kenya, has been arrested, harassed and even lost a member of his community group, for agitating against illegal exploitation of Mt. Kenya forest by pwerful politicians.

At his shanty structure in Kibubua village which flanks the forest to the east, Mutuoboro keeps a collection of documents that show the kind of human rights abuses environmental groups like his, face, when they lobby against politicians involved in illegal logging at one of the biggest water towers in Kenya.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Cost of Adapting to Climate Change Could Hit $500 Billion per year by 2050

UNEP's Adaptation Finance Gap Report: Failure to cut emissions will dramatically increase the annual costs of adaptation, which could be up to five times higher by 2050 than previously thought.
ROTTERDAM, The Netherlands (PAMACC News) – The cost of adapting to climate change in developing countries could rise to between $280 and $500 billion per year by 2050, a figure that is four to five times greater than previous estimates, according to a new United Nations Environment (UNEP) report. 

Released as nations sign the landmark Paris Agreement on climate change, the report assesses the difference between the financial costs of adapting to climate change in developing countries and the amount of money actually available to meet these costs – a difference known as the “adaptation finance gap”. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Energy experts seek transformative energy power struggle in off grid African communities

By Elias Ntungwe Ngalame

TORONTO, Canada (PAMACC News) - Energy experts say emerging technology, social and business innovations are offering enormous possibilities for over 2 billion people in off grid communities especially in Africa to access energy resources that will radically transform their lives through improvements in education, business, agriculture health care and other spheres.

The application of increasingly low-cost modular renewable energy technologies to Africa’s emerging markets also offers an opportunity to mitigate the effects of climate change and enable energy poor communities to become leaders in the global shift towards decarbonization, the energy experts pointed out at the end of a four day WGSI (Waterloo Global Science Initiative)Open Access Energy Summit in Waterloo Toronto Canada, April 22-27,2016.

Friday, May 6, 2016

At last, Kenya signs bill into climate change law

By David Njagi

Dr Ottichilo (left) in an interview with a PAMACC Journalist
NAIROBI, Kenya (PAMACC News) – After years of wheeler dealing, Kenya finally has a climate change law.

The 2014 Climate Change Authority Bill has finally been signed into law by President Uhuru Kenyatta on May 06, 2016 after going through the third reading in Parliament.

“We discussed the Bill’s progress with the President during this year’s World Economic Forum in New York,” said Wilbur Ottichilo, the Parliamentary Network on Renewable Energy and Climate Change (PNRECC) chairman. “He promised to assent to it as soon as it passes through the committee stage.”

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Sowing the Seeds of Africa’s Success

Hon Amina. (Photo:
By Amina Mohammed, Minister of Environment for Nigeria

Africa’s transformation lies in the continent’s rich soil. If we protect the ecosystems that sustain us we can lift Africans out of poverty, achieve food security, build climate resilience, create wealth and end hunger.

THERE is an old Nigerian proverb that says “fine words do not produce food”. So I will keep my words as simple and clear as possible.

Africa is facing a harsh reality. One in every two people on the continent lives in extreme poverty.In 15 years, most of the world’s poor will reside herein Africa.Sadly,as I write,about 240 million people go to bed hungry every night while malnutrition kills more than 50% of the African children who die before they reach the age of five.

The Natural Jewels in Africa’s Crown

Hon. Tshekedi S. Khama (ITB Berlin)

By Hon. Tshekedi S. Khama, Minister of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism of Botswana

IT is impossible to look out over the winding waterways and lush green wetlands of the magnificent Okavango Delta and fail to understand the importance of conserving the natural world.

A World Heritage Site teeming with plants, fish, birds and home to some of the planet’s most endangered animals, the delta is one of Botswana’s – and Africa’s – most impressive natural jewels.

It is clear that the world has a moral obligation to save areas of wild beauty like these: the planet would be poorer without them.