EMCA under review, says CS Tobiko

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Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko has said the Government is in the process of overhauling the Environment Management and Coordination Act (EMCA) to incorporate the latest best practices and jurisprudence.

“EMCA which has been here since 1999 has been submitted to National Assembly for overhaul and to include protection of environmental rights defenders, environmental and climate justice, protection of urban green spaces and forests, a crime of ecocide among others”, CS Tobiko emphasized.

The CS said protection of environmental rights protectors has been necessitated by the brutal murder of the late Johanna Stutchbury.

On green urban spaces, the CS said a number of forests and urban spaces has been restored but there is no legal framework for continued protection.

Kenya forest covers the CS added has had a significant increase from 5.6% in 2018 to 8.8% and 12.3% tree cover attributed to the increased public awareness of tree growing.

The CS spoke on Friday, February 25, 2022, in a hybrid meeting where he met a team from UN Global Compact led by its CEO and Executive Director Sanda Ojiambo and attended by CEOs of state agencies under the Ministry who briefed the meeting on their mandate vis a vis interface with the private sector.

The CS called for extended polluter responsibility which will endure responsible business behaviour enshrined in our constitution.

On Intergenerational equity, the CS said we are trustees of our natural resources as enshrined in article 4 of the Constitution.

On territorial boundaries, CS Tobiko said Kenya is a signatory of many Multilateral Environmental treaties and has gone further to ratify them and is enshrined in law making it have legal backing.

On responsibility to the environment, the CS said every corporate-like citizens have an obligation to protect the environment ”it is not a corporate social responsibility but a legal obligation and everybody must be held to account ”.

UN Global Compact has a network of 80 countries with the aim to develop tailor-made programmatic priorities and engage businesses for accelerated impact and achievement of the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063.

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