In a bid to bolster environmental and climate initiatives, Environment, Climate Change, and Forestry Cabinet Secretary, Soipan Tuya on 24 April 2023 visited Sweden to engage with the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI). CS Soipan Tuya sought technical support from the institute to ensure the successful co-hosting of the inaugural African Climate Action Summit in Nairobi, alongside the African Union, from September 4-6, 2023. The summit’s objective is to deliver the “Nairobi Declaration”, which will establish a common African stance ahead of COP 28 in the United Arab Emirates and lay the groundwork for a green growth blueprint across the continent.
During her visit, Cabinet Secretary Tuya met with SEI’s global leadership team, led by Executive Director Prof. Måns Nilsson, to discuss the African Union’s mandate for President Dr. William Samoei Ruto. As the current Chair of the African Union Committee of African Heads of State on Climate Change (CAHOSCC), President Ruto has been tasked with convening the African Climate Action Summit. The summit will concentrate on environmentally responsible industrialisation and multi-sectoral climate resilience in areas such as agriculture, food systems, and water resources.
CS Soipan Tuya emphasised her eagerness to collaborate closely with SEI in Kenya’s preparation to host the summit alongside the African Union and sought their support for her Ministry’s priorities, including ecosystem restoration, circular economy, and accelerating Kenya’s climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts. She also recognised and appreciated SEI’s global contributions, particularly its strategic planning support for her Ministry, air quality management, and the resilience-building IMARA project in arid and semi-arid counties, funded by SIDA Kenya.
Addressing the 15 billion trees campaign, CS Soipan Tuya Spoke of Kenya’s commitment to increase its tree cover from the current 12.2% to 30% by 2032, with Sweden’s 68.7% forest cover as a model. This ambitious target will create sustainable employment opportunities for the youth while contributing to the United Nations Decade of Ecosystem Restoration goals.
In light of Kenya’s circular economy, CS Sopian Tuya acknowledged the country’s generation of over 8 million tonnes of waste annually, much of which ends up in overburdened landfills. She expressed interest in learning from SEI and SIDA about developing a bio-based circular economy.
CS Soipan Tuya will also deliver the keynote address at Scandinavia’s largest circular economy exhibition, the Copenhagen Loop Forum, on April 27, 2023. She shared that her Ministry is working on a circular economy action plan for Kenya in accordance with the country’s Green Economy Strategy and Implementation Plan (2016-2030). Moreover, the National Green Fiscal Incentives Policy is being jointly developed to attract investments into Kenya’s circular economy.
To accelerate climate change adaptation and mitigation, Kenya is revising its 2016 climate change law to introduce progressive carbon market provisions, among other reforms. Joined by Sweden’s Ambassador to Kenya, Caroline Vicini, CS Soipan Tuya highlighted Kenya’s determination to maintain global competitiveness in horticultural exports by reducing the carbon footprints of its tea and coffee industries, both of which are threatened by climate change.
CS Soipan Tuya concluded her visit by attending a dinner hosted by SIDA’s Deputy Director Marie Ottosson, where she discussed SIDA’s support for the African Climate Action Summit and the organisation’s ongoing assistance for Kenya’s existing and emerging environmental, climate change, and forestry priorities. These priorities include green growth, circular economy, ecological restoration through the 15 billion trees initiative, and various policy reforms.
📸 by Environment_KE