By Mike Olendo & Muthoni Rose
The System for Land-Based Emissions Estimation in Kenya (SLEEK) is a cutting-edge system that will track emissions in Kenya with a primary aim of allowing Kenya to accurately estimate and track its carbon emissions in the land sector. Simply put, SLEEK is Kenya’s Measurement, Reporting and Verification (MRV) system for the land-sector. Data on weather, biological growth models and land cover maps will be used to estimate changes in Kenya’s land-sector emissions over time.
Emissions from land includes such sectors as agriculture, forestry and other land uses (AFOLU). It is important to track land sector emissions because Kenya is primarily an agriculture dependent country and majority of our Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) actions are in this sector. Further, many of the carbon sinks and storages fall here too. SLEEK will position Kenya as a leader in emissions estimation and will provide a basis for other countries in the region and across the world to learn from Kenya.
This sort of data driven approach aligns to a key goal of Conservation Internationals (CI) Vital Signs Program which is to provide near real-time data and diagnostic tools to leaders around the world to help inform agricultural decisions and monitor their outcomes. Vital Signs also aims to increase local and national capacity for environmental monitoring among scientists, civil society, government leaders and the private sector.
To this end, the SLEEK project supported by CI’s Global Environment Facility (GEF) funded, Capacity Building Initiative for Transparency (CBIT) Project convened an Intensive 9 day Training and Mentoring for Capacity Building exercise on Forestry and Other Land Uses (FOLU) sector. This was in partnership with Green House Gas Management Institute’s (GHGMI) technical support, at the Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI) Headquarters in Muguga from 4th to 15th of March 2019. Participants included government officials from Ministry of Environment and Forestry (MEF), Climate Change Department (CCD), Department of Resource Survey and Remote Sensing (DRSRS), Kenya Forest Service (KFS), and Ministry of Agriculture.
This training was geared towards training participants on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) guidelines on land use; generation of emission factors; remote sensing and satellite imagery; generation of activity data; and calculation of emissions and removals using spreadsheet. The other goal was to also work with technical teams from the DRSRS and KFS to generate activity data and emission factors to calculate CO2 emissions/removal from forest and other land uses.
Another key output of the training was to help Kenya develop its Third National Communication to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) which includes the country’s Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Inventory. This is being done through MEF and the CCD supported by the USAID-UNDP funded Low Emission and Climate Resilient Development (LECRD) Project and again the GEF CBIT Support Project.
After the training, some key follow-ups were decided upon as part of the next steps in the process. A meeting was planned to be held later in the month between the Technical Working group (TWG) for Land Cover Change (LCC) and the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+). This will result in a harmonised country position with respect to the FOLU GHG Inventory. A draft report for the FOLU sector would be ready by April 2019. It is expected that the GHGMI and the CBIT project will continue working closely together in the continued efforts towards building Kenya’s national capacity in GHG Inventory establishment and reporting as per the signed international agreements.
For more information, please contact Mike Olendo at firstname.lastname@example.org