Amid growing recognition of the agriculture sector's pivotal role in addressing climate change, a recent consultative workshop centred around the Climate Change (Amendment) Bill 2023 and National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP) review shed light on the immense potential of Climate Smart Agriculture in achieving climate change adaptation and mitigation goals.
The workshop provided key insights, emphasizing the crucial link between the agricultural sector, climate action, and economic growth within the policy process. There is a dire need to sync concerted efforts between different actors to realize impactful gains and achieve the set targets in the fight against climate change nationally and internationally. This workshop was co-financed by the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT through the AICCRA project, Biovision Foundation and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) with excellent coordination by the Kenya Climate Smart Agriculture Multistakeholder Platform and Kenya’s Ministry of Agriculture Livestock Development (MoALD).
The Climate Change (Amendment) Bill 2023 offers an opportunity to bridge a gap and foster active engagement and participation in carbon markets1 through the endorsement and ratification of the Climate Change Act 2016. The act provides a regulatory framework for enhancing response to climate change. It aims to establish unique objectives that resonate with the overarching goals of the Paris Agreement, particularly on low-carbon development. The NCCAP 2018-2022, the second 5-year nationwide sectoral Plan, was a roadmap for Kenya's climate change initiatives. It builds upon the progress made during the implementation of the previous NCCAP 2013-2017 and outlines measures to address the emerging issues to support the achievement of Kenya's Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC). These measures included enhanced abatement of greenhouse gases emission of 30 % to 32% by year 2030, integrating climate change adaptation into the government's planning processes, and implementing adaptation actions. The workshop proceedings, therefore, focussed on a) reviewing NCCAP II, b) setting targets for NCCAP III, which covers 2023-27 and c) finance and budgeting.
NCCAP III will be integral in implementing Kenya’s updated NDC (2020) and actualizing the outcomes of the National Long-Term Low Emission Development Strategy 2022-2050.
A resounding message echoed throughout the workshop was the urgent need for multi-sectoral collaboration in addressing climate change. Participants emphasized the importance of leveraging the unique strengths of governmental departments, civil society, NGOs, and research and development partners. By uniting efforts, we can pool resources, share expertise, and implement comprehensive solutions that drive meaningful impact in our communities. The need to synergize and amplify strategic collaborations with different organizations and stakeholders led to the establishment of a multistakeholder platform in 2018, which was launched in 2022 as the Kenya Climate Smart Agriculture Multistakeholder Platform (CSA MSP) in which the Alliance is a partner. The CSA-MSP comprises 5 Thematic Working Groups (TWG), and the workshop leveraged TWG2 – Networking and Collaboration for their expertise in the policy deliberations.
Kenya is among the 195 parties that ratified the Paris Agreement and is gearing up efforts to incorporate and adapt Article 6 into the national policies and laws regarding climate change adaptation and mitigation measures. Among the key outcomes of the COP26 in Glasgow were the mechanisms and structures put in place for the rapid operationalization of Article 6(6.2, 6.4 and 6.8), which provides the guidelines for cooperation and approaches in international carbon markets and mitigation outcomes through bilateral agreements between different actors – private entities and governments. There have been different variations and engagements in carbon markets in Kenya in the past decade or so, though these were not well anchored in the national policies relating to climate change in the country. It was, therefore, urgent, and prudent to regulate and provide nationally and internationally recognized frameworks that provide guidelines for trade in carbon markets within the country. These mechanisms will be captured in the Climate Change Act 2016 through the Amendment Bill 2023.
The Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Forestry is spearheading the Amendment and invited all interested parties and stakeholders in Kenya to provide their inputs to the Amendment Bill 2023. The Policy Review workshop held in Nakuru was a great opportunity for the Alliance – Climate Action team, together with other stakeholders in the Environment and Agriculture realms in Kenya at the invitation of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development, to convene, consult and provide expert inputs to the Amendment Bill 2023 with a closer lens to ensure suggestions of interest in the agriculture sector are well captured in the amendments.