The University of Nairobi’s College of Agriculture and Veterinary Science (CAVS) hosted the 2016 Conference on Earth System Governance at the Wangari Maathai Institute (WMI).
The 1st of its kind in Africa and the 7th in its series, the conference was themed Confronting Complexity and Inequality.
The Chief Guest, Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Regional Development Authorities, Prof. Judy Wakhungu, highlighted various initiatives carried out by her ministry towards environmental sustainability. She said that through the Kenya Forest Service and National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA), the Ministry of Environment has instituted policies that protect the environmental degradation and has worked with the 47 counties to plant trees and to ensure that the forest cover is increased to 10%. Currently, Kenya has a forest cover of 7%. In line with the Paris Agreement, the environmental law was enacted to help deal with the effects of climate change and global warming.
The Ministry also provides leadership and guidance on international treaties on global environmental initiatives. Together with Japan, the Ministry is planning hazardous waste management for Nairobi. Through the Kenya Wildlife Service, the ministry has ensured that poaching is reduced by 80% and human wildlife conflict is reduced as well.
Speaking on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor, the Principal, College of Biological and Physical Sciences, Prof. Bernard Aduda, said that the University is greatly honored to have the conference co-hosted by the Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace and Environmental Studies.
“It is symbolically important that this global gathering is being co-hosted by an Institute founded and named after the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004, the late Professor Wangari Maathai,” he said. “As readers of her book “The Challenge for Africa” published in 2010 will note, the theme of this conference is central to what Prof. Wangari Maathai tirelessly involved herself and others with for several decades.”
Also present during the conference were Prof. Daniel Gakuya, acting Principal, College of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences, Prof. Richard Mutembei, Director, Wangari Maathai Institute and Prof. David Mungai, Deputy Director, Wangari Maathai Insitute who was also the conference co-chair.