Kenya launches roadmap to set Land Degradation Neutrality targets

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UNCCD News

According to the Kenyan Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, over 80% of land in Kenya is classified as arid and semiarid. These areas are home to approximately 10 million people, 50% of Kenya’s livestock, and 70% of wildlife.

As stated by the Principal Secretary in the State Department of Environment in Kenya, Mr. Charles Sunkuli, “land Degradation, which is driven by harsh ecological conditions and unsustainable land management practices, is a threat to food security and sustainable development, and continues to threaten livelihoods countrywide”.

In order to address this issue, Kenya is currently among 105 countries committed to set national Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) targets. The inception workshop to set Kenya’s targets for LDN was held in Nairobi 22 - 23 February 2017, with over 50 participants from various institutions nationwide. During his opening speech, Mr. Sunkuli also announced that: “Kenya has prioritized the issue of halting land degradation across sectors, in order to enhance the attainment of food security through sustainable land management practices, water harvesting and land based initiatives”.

Kenya has been playing a leadership role in forging action on LDN: 

  • In October 2016, Nairobi hosted the fifteenth session of the Committee of the Review of Implementation of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (CRIC 15). The issue that was deemed particularly important at CRIC15 was to move forward with LDN.
  • During the 2016 Africa Regional Negotiators meeting in Nairobi, it was pointed out that Kenya is promoting Sustainable Land Management as a means of addressing desertification, land degradation, biodiversity and climate change.
  • Kenya has mapped the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), where some of the specific key areas of focus include: environment, agriculture, food security, and halting land degradation. In line with this, Kenya has embarked on integrating the SDGs into its Development Plan.

Land Degradation Neutrality calls for securing enough healthy and productive natural resources by avoiding degradation whenever possible and restoring land that has already been degraded. Better management practices and better land use planning can improve economic, social and ecological sustainability for present and future generations. In the following months Kenya is set to work on establishing the national LDN baseline and targets. Subsequently this achievement will greatly contribute to advancing national sustainable development priorities, such as the National Climate Change Action Plan and the Green Economy Initiative.

 

 

For more information: 

Simeon Hengari 

The Global Mechanism

Tel: +49 177 52 663 17

SHengari@unccd.int