Facts: Environment

Kenya's government is passing new laws to combat poaching


Kenya's government is passing new laws to combat poaching

New legislation approved by Kenya's Cabinet will overhaul wildlife laws in order to protect rhinos and elephants

New legislation includes:

  • The creation of an inter-agency security team to track down poachers in wildlife sanctuaries and private conservancies
  • Increased fines of up to one million shillings ($11,000) for poaching
  • A program to rapidly increase the number of Kenya Wildlife Service rangers by 1,000

Source: Guardian

Kenya is urging the international community to take action on climate change

  • Kenya has emerged as a leader at climate talks taking place this month in Durban, South Africa, arguing vigorously for a legally binding agreement to curb harmful emissions.
  • As more established economic powers balk at efforts to forge a serious international treaty, Kenya continues to urge world leaders to “accelerate the process towards a new climate treaty” that will keep global temperatures at safe levels.
  • Kenya's efforts for a concerted global response to climate change follow the commitments made at the 2010 Cancun climate talks, where the international community pledged $100 billion per year to combat climate change. And when it comes to renewable energy, Kenya has led by example: the country plans to generate 3,000 megawatts of electricity from clean energy sources by 2018.

Source: China Daily
Source: Kenya Broadcasting Corporation
Source: Bloomberg

Kenya has just announced the construction of a state-of-the-art geothermal power plant

  • Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) will work with an international consortium to build a 280 megawatt geothermal plant named Olkaria IV, which is expected to be operational in 2014.
  • The project, which enjoys international investment from the likes of The World Bank, Germany’s Development Bank KfW and the European Investment Bank, will help diversify Kenya's energy base and reduce the country's reliance on hydroelectric dams, whose output can drop during droughts.
  • Already the first African country to drill for geothermal power, Kenya has set a goal of producing at least 5,000 megawatts of geothermal power by 2030.

Source: Reuters

Kenya is cracking down on pollution to protect the environment.

  • Kenya's National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) recently issued tough regulations aimed at curbing pollution and protecting the environment.
  • NEMA Director General Ayub Macharia and Nairobi Provincial Commissioner Njoroge Ndirangu have announced that all buildings that discharge waste to the environment will be declared uninhabitable and forced to close down. Quarries operating without NEMA certification will also be shut within six months and car washes near bodies of water and those operating without a NEMA license have been ordered to shut down immediately.
  • The Kenyan government has enacted many other measures in recent years to protect the environment, including clean energy and reforestation projects throughout the country.

Sources: All Africa, Global Energy Network Institute, Bloomberg, Daily Nation

Kenya is helping developing countries gain access to clean energy.

  • At the launch of the Paris-Nairobi Climate Initiative in April 2011, Prime Minister Odembo promised Kenya will assist other African countries in achieving the United Nations' goal of universal access to energy by 2030. The Initiative will facilitate interactions between government ministries, development partners and energy experts to expand access to clean energy throughout the world.
  • The Prime Minister told reporters at the Initiative's opening conference that the idea dates back to the December 2010 United Nations Convention on Climate Change. “France and Kenya saw the need to launch an initiative on access to clean energy in Africa and other countries vulnerable to climate change,” he said.
  • A secretariat for the Initiative will be set up in Nairobi and its head will be appointed soon, assured the Prime Minister, underscoring the Initiative's importance. “This is not just about talk, we want to ensure that the whole exercise is fast-tracked,” he said.

Source: Africa Review

Kenya is a leading producer of renewable energy on the African continent.

  • On a recent visit, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon praised Kenya for its ground-breaking use of volcanic heat from the Great Rift Valley to generate electricity. The Secretary-General said Kenya is well on its way towards powering a “green economy.”
  • Kenya recently opened Africa's first carbon exchange for the trade of carbon credits resulting from green energy and afforestation projects. The Nairobi Climate Exchange offers a revolutionary method of financing new generations of renewable energy projects and will encourage investment in those efforts.
  • Kenya is home to the United Nations Environmental Programme's (UNEP) Africa headquarters, which recently completed construction on the agency's new “green” offices. The building is entirely powered by solar power and has water collection and recycling facilities.

Sources: Spero News, The Citizen, Africa Review


Kenya hosted the 26th UN Global Environment Forum in February 2011

  • Environment ministers from more than 100 countries, including U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson, met in Nairobi to discuss the environmental impact of armed conflicts and natural disasters, new research on climate change, and how by adopting “green economies,” countries can ensure sustainable increased capital gains.
  • President Kibaki reaffirmed that the Kenyan government is seeking ways to utilize the country’s abundance of renewable energy to secure a future that is based on a sustainable green economy.”Kenya is committed to playing its role as host of UNEP and the entire UN fraternity,” President Kibaki said as he officially opened the meeting.
  • During his opening remarks, United Nations Environment Programme Executive Director Achim Steiner commended Kenya’s new constitution, which provides for investment in geothermal and other renewable energy to increase electricity connectivity in the country.

Sources: United Nations Environment Programme, Capital FM, Philippine Star

Kenya is striving to be the African leader in using green energy by 2020

  • Kenya plans to produce 3,000 megawatts of cleaner electricity by 2018, mostly through geothermal and wind projects.
  • This is equivalent to almost 50 percent of the country's total electricity consumption at present rates.
  • The Kenyan government has set up a $2 billion energy fund that will lend to those investing in climate-friendly green electricity-generating projects.

Source: BloombergDaily Nation

Kenya supplies over 35% of cut flowers to the world's largest markets

  • The Kenyan flower sector grows at an average of 20% per year.
  • The floriculture industry is estimated to employ over 60,000 Kenyans in rural areas.
  • In 2008, Kenya exported 93,000 tons of flowers around the world.
  • The main markets for Kenyan flowers are the Netherlands, UK, Germany and France.

Source: Kenya Flower Council

There is a 300-megawatt wind farm being developed in Kenya

  • The Lake Turkana Wind Power Project is being developed in the hope of decreasing the country's greenhouse gas emissions and developing alternative energy sources.
  • Work has already begun on the $891 million project, funded by KenGen and KBC Bank NV of Belgium.

Source: Global Energy Network Institute

Kenya is home to the original “safari”

  • When translated from Swahili, “safari” means journey and a trip through Kenya will take you through some of the world's most breathtaking views.
  • Kenya boasts more than 65 national parks and wildlife preserves, each populated with distinct wildlife.

Source: Kenya Tourist BoardInterpolPeace Corps

Kenya is one of the global leaders in community-based eco-tourism

  • The government works with local tribes to develop innovative ways to protect the environment and local culture.
  • Kenya has won several eco-lodge awards and is planning to be the first African country to develop and use international criteria to rate eco-lodges and tour operators.

Source: Kenya Tourist Board

Kenya was the first African country to adopt geothermal energy

  • Kenya has one of the largest geothermal energy programs in the world and the largest in Africa.
  • The largest geothermal power plant in Africa, the Olkaria II, is located near Nairobi and is operated by the Kenya Electricity Generating Company.
  • Kenya has other renewable energy programs ranging from wind to hydroelectric.

Source: International Geothermal AssociationUnited Nations