By TZ Business News Staff.
Two leaders from the East African nations of Kenya and Tanzania have Identified two important areas the world could focus on to help protect the natural environment.
Tanzania’s Vice President Dr. Phillip Mpango and Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta have identified adoption of environment-friendly technologies and proper management of oceans as key to environmental protection across the globe.
The East African leaders made the recommendations speaking at different times in Stockholm, Sweden during the first week of June of 2022 attending the 2022 Stockholm +50 Conference on the global human environment.
Dr Philip Mpango encouraged investors to come to Tanzania to invest in environment-friendly technology such as technologies that would transform waste into gas energy and fertilizers.
Dr Mpango also called upon researchers from developing countries to collaborate with local companies and researchers from Tanzania in developing simple, environment-friendly technologies that use solar and wind energies found in the country. The two days Stockholm+50′ conference held in Stockholm, Sweden was convened by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
Dr Mpango called on nations to effectively execute various international protocols like those adopted in Rio de Jeneiro, Paris, Kyoto and Glasgow created to deal with environmental degradation which occurs in various places globally.
The Tanzania Vice President cited political will and concerted efforts as crucial factors needed in dealing with environmental challenges, which are as a result of human activities. Dr. Mpango complained Tanzania was a victim of environmental problems but which were largely created elsewhere.
But Tanzania is not an exception to environmental problems facing the world . The nation is thus taking measures to combat the problem of environmental degradation. Dr. Mpango said Tanzania has taken various initiatives to tackle environmental degradation, measures which have included protecting its natural forests as well as embarking on national tree planting campaigns.
On his part President Uhuru Kenyatta underscored the need for urgent measures to protect and manage oceans in a sustainable way for present and future generations. He emphasized that the conservation of oceans, seas and marine resources can no longer be left out of the broader environment and climate change agenda.
“When we started this conversation that oceans needed to be part of our agenda or mainstreaming oceans in the overall environment and climate agenda, we did so because oceans are a very critical part of the livelihoods of millions of people across the globe,” President Kenyatta said.
Speaking on Friday during a high-level side event dubbed ‘Road to Lisbon’ held on the margins of the Stockholm+50 international meeting, the President said Kenya is keen to take the lead and join the global action on conservation and sustainable use of the oceans.
The ‘Road to Lisbon’ side event, moderated by Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Amb. Macharia Kamau, was part of the build-up engagements to mobilize participation and enhance awareness to build momentum towards the 2nd UN Oceans Conference that Kenya and Portugal will co-host in Lisbon later this month.
President Kenyatta encouraged delegates at the Stockholm+50 meeting to partner with Kenya and Portugal as they co-host the oceans conference.
“For us, we see Stockholm+50 where we are today and we see Portugal where we shall be in a few weeks time as basically a road that is leading to Egypt (where the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference will be held) in a few months.
“We see an Egypt that will not be a talk-show but hopefully an Egypt where all of us can stand firmly together and demand that those with ears and eyes but refuse to see must hear. We must have action if we desire to protect our future,” President Kenyatta said.
Speaking at the meeting, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director Inger Andersen said the triple planetary crisis of climate change, pollution and biodiversity loss has plunged oceans into deep trouble that requires humanity to join hands and urgently address.
On his part, Portugal Minister for Environment and Climate Action Duarte Cordeiro said the 2nd UN Oceans Conference will, among other things, be a crosscutting universal forum to build a bond and create synergies to scale up action and support ambitious oceans-based solutions.
Swedish Minister for International Development Cooperation Matilda Ernkrans said managing oceans in a sustainable, firm and inclusive way will be a major step to reaching the 2030 agenda.
“The ocean is an ally in the fight against climate change. It hosts the solutions to poverty, food security and gender equality. And there is hope. Last year at COP26, we succeeded in integrating ocean-based action into the agreement,” Ms Ernkrans said.
Later, President Kenyatta met members of the Kenya chapter of the Stockholm+50 Youth Task Force where he challenged them to take the lead in environmental conservation and curbing the challenges of climate change.
“My challenge to the youth is that they do not have to wait for tomorrow. The youth are leaders of today and we want to ensure their voice is heard because the decisions we are making today will have an impact on their future,” President Kenyatta said.
The President said necessary policies and programmes have to be implemented now to reverse the effects of climate change, oceans as well as ensure the encroaching desertification that is threatening the country is stopped.
During the meeting, the youth presented to the President a policy paper regarding their stand on the decade of eco-system restoration, Covid-19 recovery and the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 16.