February 25, 2014
Kenya joined the United Nation membership in 1963 hours after independence, being part of the big league or the community of nations. The 19th conference on climate change was held in Warsaw Poland and Kenya took part as one of the policy makers at the United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) from the 11th to the 23rd November in 2013. At the national stadium in Warsaw there were three subsidiary bodies, one being the thirty ninth session of Subsidiary Body on Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA 39), the second was the thirty ninth session of Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI 39) and The third part of the second session of the Ad hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP 2-3)
The first section of the conference involved the SBI and the SBSTA while the second section involved the high level section which was the last part of the conference, and as usual these sections involved the political negotiations section. The last section was highly polarized and it had to be extended to the 23rd as it had been proposed to end by 22nd of November . The East Africans were at the front line as the Tanzanian president was at the political front during the opening of the high level section. A number of decisions and agreements were passed and Warsaw was a road map to 2015 as new decisions to cut emissions from deforestation and damage losses which are associated with climate change were forth coming.
There was an advancement of the Durban platform which brought a new ‘legal binding’ proposal which will involve all parties from the Global North and Global South. The Kyoto Protocol was holding responsibilities on the development and now ‘the new agreement’ or ‘legal force’ as you may want to call it will bring all States on the same ship and whoever jumps will sink in deep waters. There was also a mitigation effort which brought a work plan. This ‘legal force’ or ‘protocol’ and the work plan has a time frame which will make COP 27 or the year 2021 an interesting year but my grandfather reminds me in my vernacular Jogi ee joka, meaning they are the same individuals who make decisions and that the 1997 Kyoto Protocol had a time frame too which was to come into force by 2005. Throwing the benefit of doubt in the deep sea, I wait hoping that 2020 will give us politicians who are lovers of wisdom and not power or lovers of wisdom will get into political powers. They say politics is about resource allocation and climate finance has always been a slow decision and parties hoping to mobilize 100 million US dollars by 2020 is far from reality. As a developing country, we hope and take each step carefully in realizing the right path of development which is exploiting but trying to save for the future.
Back home to my country Kenya, she is also a party among the 193 countries at the COP process, She is hoping to be part of the developed countries or the Global North by 2050 and her effort on following the sustainable development path will ease things out on cutting her emissions and therefore as she is focusing on adaptation, mitigation is also very important to her because she is heading towards being a big shark (developed). Kenya has made very big efforts as she is one of the first countries with their executive arms having a Climate Change Secretariat (CCS) and her climate change bill in due process. She also has a legislative arm with interrelated committees looking at issues on environment and climate change which are; Environment and Natural Resources Committee, Agriculture Livestock and Cooperatives Committee, and Energy Communication and Information Committee. There is need for Kenyan lawyers or rather the Judicial arm to take part in international climate negotiations since the world is on the road map of yet another legal binding or protocol, the greatest concern is that the law interpreters are distant from the climate knowledge and negotiations. Kenya has also embraced the relationship between the civil society and her government and being in the international climate negotiations with a government budge and yet you want to join the worlds civil society in a demonstration was one of the challenges at Warsaw.
As an individual who has been brought up by farmers, I was more disappointed as the Warsaw meeting did not focus much on Agriculture but SBSTA, and the Kenyan delegates lacked the representation from the Ministries of Agriculture and Devolution and Planning. Despite all this I still walk this path with optimism, that 2015 climate negotiations will bring up a smile on my grandfathers face as he hopes to increase his farm produce, pay his taxes and if resources allow him to enable me to attend the Peru conference (COP20). Without further ado please visit the UNFCCC website www.unfccc.int for more information or connect to email@example.com and you will become a school in climate negotiations.
Prepared by Clifford Omondi
January 16, 2014
Prepared by: Reuben Makomere
The COP 19 working group commenced work in February 2013 with the view of achieving 3 goals namely:
1 1. Building the capacity of the working group and fellow AYICC members with regard to matters related to the COP and UNFCCC
2 2. Feeding into the specific policy areas that were to be discussed and decided upon at COP 19
3 3. Seeking ways and means of enhanced strategic engagement in so far as COP 19 was concerned and beyond.
In achieving the above mentioned objectives, the working group sought to further AYICC’s involvement in COP 19 affairs and in the broader UNFCCC process and enrich the same through various forums right from and including the national process to the very apex, the international process.
Mechanisms were set up with a view of facilitating the achievement of the above named objective. Indeed, an online platform was established, specifically for the working group that facilitated the sharing of information and establishment of institutional memory that would enhance the capacity of not just members of the working group but the greater AYICC. To that effect the platform () was a tool within which vide strategic partnerships, the COP and greater UNFCCC process was illuminated. Various other platforms were provided where members could engage through writing and share their views, in conjunction with other platforms that were and continue to be availed to the working group.
Various sessions were held weekly that covered various aspects of the UNFCCC/COP process, highlighting various tracks and mechanisms within the framework convention in addition to the limbs and issues therein.
With regard to contributing to the specific policy processes, it is worth noting that there were a number of areas within which policy interventions were made. Much of the progress was made within the YOUNGO framework, where AYICC is a vibrant member. In this framework there are various working groups which work in tandem to address and make interventions on key policy processes within the UNFCCC framework on behalf of young people.
It is worth noting that involvement and engagement in these working groups was manifest as early as March 2013 with work being done in working groups including the Intergenerational Equity Working Group, which managed to have text included in the final COP19 decision on ADP with regard to mainstreaming the necessity of safeguarding young and future generations. That in itself was a key milestone. Other areas where contribution was made include the Bottom-liners working group which seek to strengthen the global north-south engagement in so far as matters COP are concerned. It is worth noting that very close engagements were also realized with the focal points, representing both the global north and south, noting the key strategic significance, thus being able to keep abreast and contribute the key agenda items throughout the year, including the debate on reforming YOUNGO.
In addition to the above, a lot more involvement was evident with regard to the local processes in so far as climate change policy is concerned. We were involved in the preparation process with regard to the country position in the lead up to COP 1, making interventions and contributions to the country’s position on various issues. It is anticipated that more of such engagement will follow, building on the past relationships that have been created by very able and capable members of AYICC-K over the years and at various levels.
It is also worth noting that there were a few setbacks more so with regard to the aspect of engagement, where we did not see many members engage on the various agenda areas in so far as COP is concerned. Indeed this shortfall manifested itself with regard to following issues of the COP particularly COP-19 where a lot more engagement from more members on the same was and is always welcome. That is a particular focus area going forth.
Another key area where lessons could be learnt is the manner of engagement and strategy for the same. While we made significant progress, it is worth noting that issues such as actual participation in the COP either as observer or as party are pertinent and call for renewed strategy with each subsequent year. It is further worth noting that due to circumstances beyond our control, and despite having some members accredited, actual physical participation during the COP in Warsaw was not possible hence negatively affecting the level and scope of our engagement.
Going back to whether we achieved the objectives set out herein above, it is worth noting that there was indeed some degree of success while there were other areas which require further work, noting the scope of the task at hand. While we did have meaningful engagement throughout the year vide various mechanisms, the participation of the members especially through the various platforms availed and shared remains an area where more work is still to be done more so with regard to building capacity of the working group in its entirety.
Acknowledging the significance and the ever increasing space being accorded to the issue of climate change globally, and the particular importance of the next one year, it is therefore imperative that going forward, the foundations laid during the preceding years are built upon to enhance much sharper, concise engagement as regards matters COP. Sessions on the platform will resume in due course whereupon further discussions on the issues pertinent to the COP will resume.
January 14, 2014
Africa Youth Initiative on Climate Change is a youth movement in Kenya that is part of a regional youth movement in Africa. It was started in 2006 by a group of passionate youth who felt the need to create awareness on sustainable climate practices. It has carried out its activities through trainings, advocacy platforms, partnerships with other stakeholders and the Reach out Programme (ROP). The ROP programme was started three years ago which is a commitment to support the WatotoWema Centre, a children’s orphanage with over 56 children through visits and mentorship. AYICC supports the Centre through donations of food which are donated by members and bought through the support of contributions made during the weekly meetings. The Group contributes exceptionally towards the last visit of every year as a Christmas gift to the Centre. This year it brought together contributions from members and the Visa Oshwal School for the Party of the Year with the children. Money contributed was spent to buy foodstuff that were prepared by members and the children on the fun-filled day graced by around 15 AYICC members.
THE CHRISTMAS PARTY
The day started with preparations for food which included goat meat, chapatti and a stew to go along with the delicacy. The mature children and staff volunteered to help with the cooking which provided a bonding moment for the AYICC members and the children. Those who could not stand the smoke went to the field to play football with the boys from the centre. Other younger children were entertained in the hall by music that was loud enough to bring the children to a dance mood.
Food was ready by late afternoon and members served the children who were looking forward to their late lunch meal. The children had also prepared something for the team; they entertained us with some catwalk showing off their gorgeous outfit and talent. Others set out to dance joined by the AYICC members.
The Group then brought out the gifts they had brought the children for Christmas. Naomi Gichungu who is the current Coordinator of the project introduced the Group and invited Antony Ogolla to handover the gifts to Marjory and Simon who are the administrators of the Centre. They were grateful for the gifts and the children came on stage one by one saying how grateful they were to be remembered this Christmas and they urged the Group to continue coming to visit them. It was a moving testimony from the children and the Group committed to continue supporting the children.
There followed a photo session and a counselling session for those who were in high school. Led by Daniel Wasonga and Antony Ogolla, they spoke to the children on how important it was to put effort in their studies. The children left the session more motivated to work hard and excel in their studies.
STATUS OF THE POULTRY PROJECT
The ROP committee took time to evaluate the status of the poultry project that was adopted by the Centre to raise funds and supplement diets in the Centre. The chicken were still not doing very well but they had increased to a total of 15 which were laying eggs. These chicken were healthy which is definitely better than before as the breed was more adaptable. The project had been unsustainable from the way it was carried out though with the reduction of feeding levels, the chicken can now be sustained as it takes in much less resources. The Centre has the intention of expanding this project to stock more chicken to generate income for the Centre.
The Centre is in the process of constructing new classes and dormitories to accommodate the ever increasing numbers of children at the Centre. They have also constructed rental houses that shall generate revenue for the Centre. The health centre is a project in the pipeline that shall be constructed to provide health care free of charge for the children and charge a small fee for the community to generate income for the Centre.
The WatotoWema Centre prepares meals by the use of LPG gas alternated with firewood jikos that are filled with saw dust. There was need to therefore assist the Centre to set-up energy saving cook stoves that would help them save on energy and save on costs involved in procuring a source of energy. Gladys Gatiba volunteered to develop a concept paper for this project to help in fundraising for the same.
A close evaluation also set out the need for a regular mentorship programme for the children at the centre. They all aspired to go to university as many of our team members had but they needed support to get there. A mentorship committee shall be established to carry out regular mentorship activities and members were asked to commit their time towards this project.
CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
The Centre was very grateful for our contributions in time and resources. The children were particularly happy for the chapatti and a fun-filled day. They urged us to keep coming to visit them and work with them and prayed for blessings upon all who made the day a success.
The members were urged to commit to this project as it would be adopted as our centre of excellence with implementation of our projects. The mentorship project and energy saving cook stoves were recommended to be major projects for the coming year of the AYICC calendar.
We appreciate all who made it for the event and braved the smoke to put smiles on the Watoto Wema Centre children.
Compiled by Naomi Gichungu and Edited by Herman Kwoba.
October 17, 2013
Kenya has realized a number of milestones in matters of climate change. In 1994, the nation ratified the United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change – an international environmental treaty that was produced during the Rio EarthSummit (formally known as United Nation Conference on Environment and Development) in June 1992 - as well as Kyoto Protocol in 2005. Kenya has also been well represented by government officials, non-governmental organizational and other actors during the COP processes since 1995. The nation has also developed key policy and institutional frameworks, such as National Climate Change Response Strategy (2009) and National Climate Change Action Plan (2013-2017). Kenya is also the second country that has established a climate change secretariat in Africa. The Climate Change Bill (2012) could have been ranked among these landmarks, had it been assented to and passed as an act of parliament. But it didn’t. So, what went wrong??
The journey to the bill
The climate change phenomenon has been around for centuries. However, it took a different turn in the 1980’s when its impacts became more evident through increased desertification, crop failure, droughts, flash floods et cetera. Around the same time, the climate change discourse also took a political turn when different states came together to raise a united voice on tackling and mitigating climate change across the globe. This saw the formation of United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Kenya ratified the UNFCCC in 1994, joining other nations in the journey to combat climate change.
In order to effectively address this menace, there was a need for a policy and institutional framework to play the oversight and coordination roles among others. This saw non state actors in Kenya uniting to develop recommendations and way forward on climate change. In 2008, the first motion on the need for a global warming bill in Kenya was tabled by Hon. Franklin Bett. In 2009, Kenya Climate Change Working Group was formed after the amalgamation of The National Climate Change Consortium of Kenya and Kenya Climate Change Forum (KCCF). KCCWG prioritized the need for Climate Change Bill. It established the bill drafters and conducted national wide consultations.
In 2012, the bill was tabled in the parliament by Hon. Wilber Otichillo for debate. It passed through the three readings but did not receive the presidential assent due to lack of public participation, as outline in the presidential memo explaining the rejection to assenting to it.
A walk through the bill
The six-part bill provided for establishment of climate change council, framework for mitigation and adaptation to climate change effects and development of climate change response strategies. The bill outlined various functions of the climate change council, which includes advisory, coordination, education and awareness creation, research and publication as well as negotiations on climate change matters at county, national and international levels. Further, the bill outlined the composition of this council, their roles and qualifications. The climate change bill also outlined climate change programmes and response strategies in the areas of mitigation, adaptation, education, awareness and research, as well as capacity building. The firth part of the bill outlined the financial provisions, including the climate change trust fund. The fund was to be a central kitty for collecting and distributing climate change finances, and was to be managed by a board of trustees.
Plate 1: Keen AYICC Kenya participants during the debate
The gaps in the bill
Oblivious of the hard work put in place by the masterminds of the bill, there were several outstanding gaps. In the presidential memorandum, lack of public participation was listed as the major reason behind the lack of presidential accent. Further, the Transparency International Report (2012) indicated that bill was highly mutilated in its third reading. Such includes the change of its title from Climate Change Authority Bill to Climate Change Council Council Bill. This could have possibly have created a conflict between the CC Council and National Environmental Council. The scope of the bill was also amended, a point that could have necessitated stakeholder’s consultations. Further, other schedules (such as provisions on public participation) were done during the third reading and did not undergo the proper stakeholder’s consultation as required in the policy formulation process. TI further raised the concern that the bill should have set a quota for CSO representatives, rather than explicitly naming them. Various gaps also emerged during the debate. Such includes the the 10 years experience required for one to be a board member. This denies most youth the opportunity to be in the board and make decision in regards to climate change. There also lacked a clear policy framework to guide implementation of the bill. The debate also queried the need for addition policies and institutions instead of empowering the existing ones. The implication of the bill could have been increased spending of the tax payer’s money and duplication of effort and roles.
Plate 2: Millicent Omala from KCCWG taking the participants through the Bill and its development process
The way forward
After the Bill failed to receive presidential assent, the bill drafters went back to the drawing board and identified crucial gaps that the bill would address. Such included policy and institutional gaps. KCCWG organized a multi stakeholder forum to chat the way forward in February 2013. Different stakeholders were also given a chance to hand over their written submissions and recommendations. The submissions have since been reviewed. The group is in the process of reaching out through media and other channels to gain support for the bill. Further, it is in the process of organizing a national stakeholder forum to build consensus on the bill.
August 15, 2013
REACH OUT PROGRAM REPORT
Date: 28th July 2013
Venue: Watoto Wema Children’s home, Rwai.
Report prepared by: Gladys N. Gatiba
African Youth Initiative on Climate Change (AYICC) is a network of young people that has continually created awareness on climate change impacts and building capacities of the community and fellow youths to increase resilience and adaptation to these changes. This has been effected through various training camps, conferences and campaigns e.g. Green Economy and Agribusiness training, National Youth Climate Change Conferences (NYCC) and Rauka ama Hatuta survive and the Road to Durban campaign respectively among others. Among its other initiatives includes the Reach Out Programs (R.O.P); this involves supporting children homes through mentorship, financial and material support from AYICC members. The financial contributions are made during our Wednesday weekly meetings and are used to purchase food and other items needed by the children homes.
WATOTO WEMA CHILDREN HOME
In the past three years, AYICC has supported Watoto Wema Children Home located in Rwai. The home has approximately 46 residential children that range between 6 to 17 years of age; several others receive financial support for their education from their respective families’ homes. The children either come from economically challenged families or have no parents or guardians to care for them.
On the 28th July 2013 seven AYICC members visited the home to spend time with the children, they used this opportunity to interact through games and other fun activities and also mentor them. This brightened the children’s faces and hopefully their hearts; they all came out to play the various singing games led by our members. This made it super fun!
Members contribution and pledges during our weekly meetings on Wednesdays amounted to KSH 5600 this was used to buy 50kg sack of rice KSH 2800@,20 litres of cooking oil @ KSH 2230, two packets of sweets @ KSH 400 and their transport to the home @ 200.
The visit was also a reconnaissance study for viable long term projects that can sustain the home hence reduce its dependence on external financial support that has in the past been unreliable. The team established that there had been a poultry project carried out and has failed several times. The chicken died soon after they were brought into the home due to illnesses that the care taker suspected was acquired before they purchased them. They have put in efforts to disinfect the poultry houses before they introduce more chicks but have proved futile. They are however planning to use KENBRO chicks that are said to be more resilient. They will be introduced to one of the remaining hens after it hatches its own chicks hence allow it to take care of the KENBRO ones. One of the older children has expressed interest in being in charge of the project; this will ensure proper coordination of the project due the level of vulnerability and need of care and attention of the chicks.
|Members playing with the children|
|The team discussing the poultry project|
Marjory, the children home director would advice on the way forward after they have monitored the KENBRO chicks’ growth. This will guide AYICC intervention mechanism towards a sustainable project in the home. AYICC ROP team which comprises of Naomi Gichugu, Richard Omondi, Mercy Wanjiku, Alphaxard Ndun’gu and Gladys Gatiba (Gasheri) will come up with a fundraising strategy for the project as their await Marjory’s go ahead. The team is also coming up with alternative projects in case the poultry project is proved unviable. There are therefore seeking members who may be interested in this programme or have other project ideas to join in.
CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Members are urged to always join and also invite their friends whenever there are visits to the home because these children require mentorship and one on one interaction for psychological support due to their various past experiences and challenges.
The children and their director were very thank full of our continued support and urged us to not to tire in our contributions however little they may seem, it goes a long mile in supporting the children welfare.
“Thank you all for your material and financial support and the time spent with the children, you are always welcome to Watoto Wema family” Marjory remarks.
We appreciate the team that visited the children on this day namely: Danny Wasonga, Vicky Chego, Clifford Omondi, Naomi Gichugu, Jeff Shihebetsa, Richard Omondi, Alphaxard Ndung’u and Gladys N. Gatiba (Gasheri).
This is how happy we left Watoto Wema children. Thank you all
Note: You can also download the report below: