Kenya is ready for the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA 5.2), which will take place from February 28 to March 2, 2022, Principal Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), Amb Kamau Macharia, has assured.

Amb Macharia added that immediately after UNEA-5.2, the Assembly will hold a Special Session on March 3to 4, 2022, which is devoted to the commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the creation of UN Environment Programme, dubbed (UNEP@50).

He outlined that UNEA 5.2 overall theme is: ‘Strengthening Actions for Nature to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals’,

UNEP@50 will be: ‘Strengthening UNEP for the Implementation of the Environmental Dimension of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’. The UNEP has 193 Member states and each is expected to send representatives.

The two Conferences bring together over 2,000 delegates from 193 UN Member States. UNEP is the only UN Headquarters in the global South.

“The Assembly, this time round, shall address itself to three planetary crises: planetary crisis of climate change, nature and biodiversity loss, and pollution and waste,” stated the PS in a statement read on his behalf by Director of International Conferences and Events (DICE), Amb Isaiya Kabira.

This was during a Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Environment and Forestry together with UNEP, joint press briefing on UNEA 5.2 and UNEP@50, held this afternoon at 316 Upper Hill Chambers.

The biannual UNEA will mark the Fifth Session since the First Environmental Assembly that was held in Nairobi in 2014.

This coming session of UNEA5.2 and the Special session on UNEP@50 Kenya has called for a wider in person participation and among the high-level delegates among them, four Presidents, from the Republic of Botswana, Maldives, Nigeria and South Sudan, the Vice President of Tanzania and of Iran, the Prime Minister of Srilanka and Namibia, the UN Deputy Secretary General, the President of the General Assembly as well as several Ministers of Foreign Affairs and of Environmental Ministries. Both gatherings will be in-person and online in compliance with international Covid-19 procedures as regards to mass gatherings.

Ministry of Environment and Forestry Principal Secretary Dr Chris Kiptoo, acknowledged support from UNEP that has gone towards development of environmental policies, regulations and multi-lateral environmental agreements in Kenya.

Dr. Kiptoo said the country has partnered with UNEP in implementing various activities that have seen improvements in socio-economic spheres, particularly in forest conservation, ban on single-use plastics, environmental management legislation, including the Waste Management Bill currently being discussed in Parliament, among others.

“Kenya is a strong advocate for the environment and holds steadfast to its pledge of 1972 to support UNEP in the execution of its mandate. We have taken this commitment to the environment with us into the UN Security Council where during our term, Climate Change and the Environment is one of our priority areas.

By Fred Azelwa.