- Date submitted: 1 Nov 2011
- Stakeholder type: Member State
- Submission Document: Download
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KENYA'S POSITION ON THE RIO+20 SUMMIT
I. The United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development Rio+20 Summit present an opportunity for the international community to renew political commitment for the implementation of sustainable development (Agenda 21). Kenya expects the conference to result in focused and practical consensus statement on the outcomes of the conference, the elements and underlying principles and time bound, determinable steps to be taken towards moving to accelerated economic development that is compatible with environmental and bio-diversity protection and restoration and sustainable development. Kenya expects a clear articulation of a politically feasible and result-oriented institutional architecture to undergird sustainable development. In summary, outcomes of the conference must be geared towards accelerated economic development and poverty eradication in the context of managed climate change and sustainable development.
2. To achieve desirable outcomes, the summit must address the conference objectives and themes in a coherent, holistic, balanced and integrated manner. Kenya believes that the objectives which are:-securing renewed political commitment for sustainable development', assessing the progress to-date and the remaining gaps in the implementation of the outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development and addressing new and emerging challenges are as important as the themes and must be addressed conclusively,
Securing renewed political commitment
3. Kenya is concerned that previous international commitments made at major UN summits and conferences on sustainable development have neither been fully adhered to nor implemented. Instead, some attempts have been made to renegotiate them. Kenya believes that existing commitments should neither be diluted nor renegotiated and urges the international community to urgently and fully implement all the international commitments related to agenda 21.
Progress and gaps in the implementation of Agenda 21
4. Kenya has, since 1992, achieved some progress in the implementation of sustainable development. However, sustained economic and social development as well as environmental protection remains elusive. As result Kenya remains off-track in achieving the international agreed development goals including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 20 15. To accelerate implementation of sustainable development as complement to the MDGs, Kenya supports the setting up of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and targets through a democratic and an all-inclusive consultative process.
5. But while SDGs and their targets may have the potential to bridge existing implementation gaps, Kenya recognizes that without sustained political will, leadership and commitment by all stakeholders, the Rio Conference will be another wasted opportunity. Therefore, the SDGs must be backed by adequate means of implementation. Kenya emphasizes that delivery of both MDGs and SDGs can be better ensured through establishment of a transparent and accountable monitoring, verifying and reporting mechanism to track delivery of all international commitments. This mechanism should be at the center of a results oriented institutional architecture for sustainable development.
New and emerging challenges
6. Kenya is vulnerable to new and emerging challenges which include but are not limited to economic and financial crisis, climate change, biodiversity loss, water scarcities and energy and food crises. Kenya recently experienced the severest drought in 60yrs which culminated in a severe humanitarian crisis. Climate change is causing uneven and unpredictable weather patterns resulting in economic disruption, severe prolonged droughts and occasional flooding affecting availability and quality of water as well as agricultural productivity. Kenya thus, remains vulnerable to volatile energy and food prices. Despite Kenya's best efforts the disaster preparedness and risk reduction capacities remain weak and poorly coordinated. These challenges undermine Kenya's sustainable development efforts.
Means of implementation
Due to the weak means of implementation, Kenya remains incapable of comprehensively addressing the existing gaps in the implementation of sustainable development and the new and emerging crises. As result, Kenya cannot realize rapid and sustained progress towards the achievement of sustainable development and internationally agreed development goals includingthe Millennium Development Goals by 2015.
Kenya is determined to redouble its efforts to confront these challenges and address failures in policy and capacity. To complement its efforts, Kenya calls on the international community to secure new and additional predictable financial resources, and expedite their disbursement to developing countries in a timely fashion. Efforts must also be put towards greater transparency and accountability in the international development cooperation to ensure existing resources achieves agreed outcomes.
Donor and developing countries must focus on the quality of development assistance, their target and their impact on development outcomes.
9. Similarly, Kenya emphasizes the need for enhanced efforts towards greater mobilization of adequate high-quality development relevant technical support, the promotion, development and dissemination of appropriate, affordable and sustainable technology and the transfer of such technologies on mutually agreed terms. In addition, Kenya emphasizes the urgent need to implement targeted capacity-building programmes in areas relevant to sustainable development, in close coordination with local, national and regional institutions.
Green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication I
10. Kenya recognizes that there is no universal definition of green economy. The concept is both feared and admired. However, Kenya has domestically contextualized the concept and is implementing programs and activities which are 'green' 'clean' and 'carbon neutral' in character. Kenya therefore expects the summit to agree on an international mechanism, that is, the means of implementation to assist developing countries undertaking green initiatives along similar lines.
I I. Kenya emphasizes that green economy must foster accelerated economic development, address poverty eradication and improvement of social welfare. The policies must be propoor and democratic, emphasize empowerment, social inclusion and participation in a holistic sense. To achieve these aims, a green economy approach must be pursued in line with Agenda 21 and the 'Rio principles' especially the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities.
12. Kenya equally emphasizes that 'green economy policies' must not constitute and promote unilateral and arbitrary trade protectionism measures and new conditionalities such as parameters and standards for access to development assistance and investments. In fact, it must guarantee adequate policy space backed by an enabling international environment with requisite financial resources, technology transfer and capacity building to facilitate rapid leapfrogging to a green economy pathway. In addition, Kenya emphasizes that transition to green economy must respect different development trajectories. Each country must be allowed to define its own path and pace of transition within the broader context of universally agreed sustainable development goals (SDGs).
13. Kenya believes that green economy approach must adopt sectrorial approaches. Green economy should promote sustainable land management and land use, access to sustainable energy for all, sustainable agriculture and food security and forestry and sustainable exploitation of natural resources. Kenya is already implementing programs and activities in forestry, agriculture and renewable energy among others as part of green initiatives. The international community must chart a clear mechanism for support to such initiatives. Finally, Kenya believes that the success in the implementation of green economy will depend to a large extent on responsiveness of the institutions at all levels to provide the means of implementation.
Institutional framework for sustainable development
14. There are many institutions with mandates on sustainable development. To a large extent, and because of their sheer numbers, most of the institutions in the fields of economic, social and environment have not performed optimally to the expectations of member states. Kenya, therefore, proposes the following general principles should guide envisaged reforms to be undertaken within the institutional framework for sustainable development coordinated approach, transparency and accountability, reduced cost of business, efficient accessibility, effective implementation and better institutional and collective outcomes.
Kenya believes that the economic pillar can be better strengthened by promoting better coherence and coordination between and among international financial institutions such as World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Global Environmental Facility, Regional Development Banks and with implementing agencies at all levels. Kenya believes that improved coordination will reduce the cost of transaction as well as the length of time taken to complete transactions.
Since developing countries are the most impacted by policies especially those emanating from the Bretton Woods institutions, Kenya urges for increased representation of developing countries in decision making organs of these institutions.
Kenya shares the concern that the impact of the Bretton Woods institutions on global economic and financial stability has been wanting. The UNSCD meeting in Rio must send a strong signal to the BWI's that moving forward their failure to deliver on their fundamental mandate to help the world manage economic and financial outcomes is unacceptable and that better regulatory monitoring and stabilization mechanism must be put in place, with urgency, to ensure better economic and financial outcomes. Kenya would like to see a strong political message out of UNCSD in that regard.
Kenya recognizes that the institutional framework for the management of social and humanitarian organizations and collective outcomes has improved significantly since 1992. The improved, coordinated and coherent implementation mechanism built around the United Nations Development Goals (UNDG) and anchored around the leadership of the UNOP Administrator and the Secretariat support mechanism of the UNOP has improved development outcomes. Equally important has been the adoption of universally agreed development outcomes specifically in the MOGs.
Kenya believes that the challenge for UNCSO moving forward will be to better streamline and strengthen the work of the UNDG, broaden and update the MOG's to include universally agreed upon SDGs, and better resources and integrate the work of the international community at country levels by improving the concept of 'Delivery as One'.
Kenya also recognizes the gains made with regard to certain sectors within the social pillar. However, the international community must take concrete actions at the UNCSD that will accelerate the realization of Millennium Development Goals (MOGs), promote social equity, and provide decent jobs for all and safety nets as well as social justice. Kenya therefore encourages increased interaction and better coordination between and among international institutions with their national equivalents.
Kenya recognizes that since inception at the Stockholm Conference on Human Environment (UNCHE, 1972), UNEP has been instrumental in pushing environmental concerns into the international limelight. This advocacy has resulted into increased awareness and establishment of many multilateral environmental agreements. UNEP under the guidance of its Governing Council orchestrated the creation of UNCCD, UNFCCC, and UNCBD. These institutions are doing commendable work in promoting sustainable development.
Member States have also responded intensely to the challenge of environmental management. Today there are over 500 MEA located and run from various parts of the world. The situation has resulted, unfortunately, in policy fragmentation, incoherence, duplication of mandates, poor coordination as well as high cost of doing business. These challenges continue to render the system less effective and efficient by making policy
guidance, financial resources and technology for mitigation and adaptation inaccessible to member states. Consequently, environmental outcomes have been sub optional for all.
Evidently, the world needs a politically and financially enabled global anchor institution with the centrifugal capability to provide an authoritative voice and a global coordination and monitory mechanism for matters of environment in the context of sustainable development. Kenya, therefore, proposes the transformation of the UNEP into an international specialized agency based in Nairobi, Kenya. The agency will operate on an equal footing with other UN specialized agencies, enjoying political status and stable and predictable funding. The proposed agency may assume the form of a World Environmental Organization (WEO) or a United Nations Organization (UNEO).
Kenya maintains that whatever form the agency takes, it must be able to fulfill the following functions:
a. Be the leading authority that sets strategic priorities of the global environment agenda and is authoritative advocate of the same
b.Serve as effective global environmental organization of a reinforced and balanced institutional framework for sustainable development
c. Provide credible coherent and effective leadership for environment sustainability under institutional framework for sustainable development d.Promote coherent implementation of environment dimensions of sustainable
development within the UN system
e.Promote synergies and improved cooperation between compatible MEAs
f. Identify guiding elements for realizing such synergies and improved cooperation while respecting legal autonomy of conference of parties.
g.Actively coordinate subjects and actors dealing with crosscutting challenges such as advancing agreed international norms and policies and stimulate cooperative action to respond to emerging environmental challenges
h.Provide together with UNIDO, UNDP and others tailor made country specific advice and transfers of environmentally sound technologies.
i. Provide capacity development by mobilizing partners and donors.
25. Similarly, Kenya believes that in terms of configuration, the proposed environmental agency must meet the following criteria:
a. universal membership b.enjoy stable and predictable funding c.Must not impose excessive financial burden on member states especially developing
countries. It must endeavor to reduce the cost of doing business. d.The organization should also have strengthened decentralized offices to reinforce efficiency.
Energy remains one of the main the determinants of sustainable development for Kenya. Kenya is an energy deficient country and has remained dependent since independence on carbon based energy sources, with their attendant climatic, polluting, disease causing and forest destroying consequence. As the consequences have become more burdensome on Kenya's economy, ecology and our forests, Kenya has begun to seek with earnest, alternative and clean energy sources to drive its economic and social revival.
Kenya has invested in clean and carbon neutral sources built around, geothermal power, wind and hydro as an integral part of its energy mix strategy moving forward. For Kenya, energy, and particularly its access for all in a clean, affordable and sustainable manner, has to be an outcome objective of the UNSCD 2012 RIO+20. Without greater access to sufficient and accessible, cost friendly energy, Kenya will not be able to complete its final achievement of MOG's nor address higher order goals that will be contained in the proposed SOGs.
While developing renewable energy resources, Kenya recognizes that its economic and social transformation cannot be realized without industrial energy. In this regard, Kenya expects the Rio+20 Summit to agree on an international mechanism for the development and transfer of environmentally sound technologies for the exploitation and use of nonrenewable energy sources. Kenya would like to see "Affordable and accessible energy for all" as one of the primary goals of the RIO+20 Summit and an integral component of the SOGs.
Habitat and Human Settlement
The fundamental struggle for sustainable development and the management of climate change particularly with regard to slowing global warming will be won or lost in the towns and cities of the world. Today, over 80% of the world's greenhouse gases are emitted by towns and cities, so setting a clear determinable framework for the "greening of cities" and better management and functioning of cities in an efficient and life sustaining manner has to be a fundamental goal of climate change and sustainable development debate.
In light of the fact the large towns and cities are now a global phenomenon, any global objectives and policies to manage environmental crisis, climate change and promote sustainable development must actively engage North-South Cooperation. Green solutions in the North alone, no matter how innovative or efficient they are, will not have the global desirable sustainable development outcomes without equitable efficiency being promoted and supported in developing countries of the South.
3 I. For cities with large informal population and settlements, such as those found in a number of African cities and towns, special attention will have to be paid to the energy-urban settlement nexus, particularly as regards the heavy reliance on "dirty fuel" and ecounfriendly, vegetation destroying energy sources for preparation of food, heating and lighting.
32. In the case of Africa, urbanization is growing faster than anywhere else in the world and this is driving a huge energy and consumer boom. Of the continent's I billion population, 40% now live in urban areas. A total of 49 African cities had more than I million inhabitants in 20 I0, as many as in Europe and more than Brazil and India which had 21 and 48 respectively. By 2030, the combined spending power of the top 18 African cities is expected to top 1.3 trillion dollars. Furthermore, a part from China and India, nearly all the world's fastest economies exceeding 6.5% GDP growth per annum are in Africa (IMF World Economic Outlook 20 I I). The implications of these are clear that global policy and programs must not only focus on the rich developed countries but must also accelerate investment in adaption and mitigation including transfer of "green technology" for developing countries, in particular Africa, if a low carbon future and GHGS, are to be in compliance with the global goals for sustainable development and climate change. Without doubt, the habitat and human settlement agenda, and particular support and strengthening of related institutions, particularly UN-Habitat, must be a clear and determinable objective of UNFCCC and Rio+20.
Agriculture and Food Security
Kenya's population remains predominantly dependent on small scale, rain-fed agriculture and livestock for food and income. Arable land, however, accounts for only 30 per cent of total landmass with the rest classified as arid and semi-arid lands (ASALS). The situation presents unique challenges to both crop and livestock production. In Kenya, agricultural productivity has, over the years, declined mainly due to negative intervening factors such as unpredictable weather patterns, prolonged droughts and floods, pests as well as declining soil fertility among others. The situation is aggravated by lack of adequate financial resources for improving on agricultural research, technology transfer and capacity building for food and livestock production. Consequently, Kenya remains vulnerable to high food prices and food insecurity.
Kenya expects the Rio+20 Summit to address targeted pro-poor policies and elements aimed at improving agricultural productivity and ensuring food security. Of particular, emphasis is technical support for sustainable irrigated farming in arid and semi-arid lands and development of drought resistant livestock and crop species.
Net Outcomes of UNCSD for Kenya:
I) Political message and commitment to Sustainable Development.
2) A universally agreed, time bound, results oriented SDGs that embrace, but go beyond, the MDGs.
3) Agreement on monitoring mechanism for government, private sector and civil society to ensure that country specific and country driven outcomes, consistent with the SDG, are planned for, verified and achieved.
4) That the IFSD recognizes the need for(a) the institutionalization of (3) above, (b) the need to hold the BWls accountable to a more responsive, transparent and participatory outcome oriented regulatory and monitory agenda, (c) the need for a strengthened UNDG built around SDGs and more results oriented 'Delivery as One', (d) the creation of an anchor institution for global policy and scientific oversight on environment and environmental outcomes with commensurate political, institutional and financial capabilities.