On January 30, Conservation International (CI)-Africa Field Division officially handed over an assortment of IT and office equipment worth almost KSh 1 million (USD 10,000) to the Climate Change Directorate (CCD) of Kenya's Ministry of Environment and Forestry as part of a project to support the country's climate change monitoring and reporting capacity.
Africa Field Director of CI’s Vital Signs programme Dr. Peter Alele handed over the equipment that included desktop computers, laptops and key office equipment to Acting Climate Change Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forestry Dr. Pacifica Ogola at the Climate Change Resource Center in Nairobi. Present were CI, CCD and other implementing partners.
The equipment will support the Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) of Green House Gas (GHG) emissions system being developed by CI in partnership with the Ministry and other stakeholders.
The handover was conducted under the Capacity Building Initiative for Transparency (CBIT) funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) that seeks to enhance the capacity of countries to monitor, verify and report their GHG Emissions to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
In her remarks before the handover, Dr. Ogola said that the CBIT work being implemented by CI’s Vital Signs programme including developing an effective MRV system, aligns well with the Kenya government priorities and legislative provisions.
She indicated that Kenya’s Climate Change Act (2016) and various regulations require public and private sectors to develop their GHG profiles and report them accordingly in line with the emission reduction targets set by the Climate Change Council that’s chaired by the President.
“CCD and other institutions created under the Climate Change Act are still at infancy stage; they need a lot of support to strengthen their capacity in critical areas. But the capacity building should be sustainable and not create dependency,” she said.
She added: “We thank CI and GEF for the equipment; without them, much would not be achieved. The MRV work is huge and cannot be underestimated. We need critical partnerships and enough time to do it well and finalize what we’ve started.”
On his part, Dr. Alele expressed satisfaction with the ongoing partnership with the government of Kenya on CBIT and other initiatives, saying the collaborations should be expanded for the benefit of Kenyans.
He said that the CBIT programme in Kenya has recorded significant progress in building the capacity of key personnel and working on developing a functional MRV framework and GHG inventory in line with Kenya’s priorities.
“Kenya was among the first 3 countries to access CBIT support from the GEF through CI and the country is still ahead of the other 30 countries that have accessed the same support. There is a lot they are going to learn from Kenya; we are compiling the lessons learnt to share with other countries,” he said.
He added: “Our ambition is to expand this CBIT work beyond the project phase; we are having discussions on how to have functional MRV systems not only for Kenya but regionally and how to raise funds for them,”
Dr. Alele appealed to stakeholders to take advantage of the capacity building opportunities provided by the CBIT project including online courses to strengthen Kenya’s capacity to fulfil its climate change reporting commitments locally and internationally.
CCD’s Deputy Director Stephen King’uyu said the MRV system being developed should be responsive to the country’s needs apart from helping in meeting Kenya’s reporting obligations to UNFCCC. He added that it should be aligned with existing institutional frameworks to minimize the need to create new structures.
“We are happy GEF and Conservation International have come in at the right time. If we pull together, we will achieve much,” he said.
While giving an update about the CBIT in Kenya, the project Manager Mike Olendo indicated that the MRV system and the coordinating platform will soon be available online, allowing everyone access to useful empirical data on climate actions and impacts in the country.
“We are working to pull together all empirical data that’s available on climate impacts and actions and uploading them online for use by both scientists and lay persons” he said.