Kenya launches strategy for restoring wetlands to boost climate resilience

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Kenya unveiled a wetlands restoration and rehabilitation strategy on Thursday in an effort to improve the country’s climate resilience.

Kenya has prioritised wetlands restoration, according to Soipan Tuya, cabinet secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, and Forestry, because they provide an irreplaceable and effective mechanism for carbon absorption and storage.

“The long retention of carbon in wetlands reduces the amounts of atmospheric carbon, thereby reducing global warming,” Tuya said during a conference on wetlands restoration in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya.

She believes that wetlands will be restored and rehabilitated at water catchments, emphasising the need of community involvement and legislative enforcement in safeguarding this essential environment.

She stated that including youth and women will not only contribute to wetlands restoration but will also produce revenue and livelihoods, so contributing to grassroots poverty reduction initiatives.

According to the official, Kenya will model itself after a successful wetlands restoration effort in South Africa, the Working for Wetlands in South Africa, a 20-year wetlands restoration programme that has resulted in the creation of 37,000 employees, the majority of which have gone to youth and women.

She stated that Kenya is striving to establish a transparent and credible carbon markets framework and that the Climate Change Act is being revised to encourage the creation of carbon markets.

The 15 billion national tree-growing restoration programme, which aims to have Kenyans plant and grow 15 billion trees by 2032, was inaugurated in December 2022 by President William Ruto as a way to mitigate the effects of climate change.

Between 2022 and 2027, the first 5 billion trees will be planted.