Interview: ‘Activities and planning are impossible without getting people involved’

November 07, 2017
Hanna Reuter
Stephen King'uyu NDC Conference 2017

Interview with Charles Mutai and Stephen King’uyu from the Climate Change Directorate of Kenya, David Kiboi from the State Department of Planning and Statistics of Kenya, and Harun Warui from the UNDP LECB programme.


Following the outcomes agreed at COP22, what has your country been doing to implement its NDC?

Mutai: Kenya is developing a roadmap for implementation of its NDC between now and 2020. We are also undertaking a sector analysis in agriculture, energy, forestry, transport, waste and industry, as our NDC seeks to abate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 30% relative to BAU projection by 2030. The aim of the sector analysis is to elaborate each contribution to this goal. Stakeholders engagement including from the government, private sector, civil societies  at the national and sub-national communes is ongoing to raise awareness as required by the Constitution.


How did you involve other stakeholders, or do you have plans to involve them?

Kiboi: Stakeholder consultation is part of Kenya’s constitution and a clear mechanism for involving all the relevant stakeholders is in place. This means that no activities or planning can be carried out without getting people involved. NDC implementation also involves stakeholder consultation. Each sector usually has a consultative forum in which they can set out the priorities for implementation, including all activities related to the NDC.

King’uyu: We made a concerted effort to inform the various stakeholders, including the civil society organisations. They are even referred to in our Climate Change Act. An entire section of the Act focuses on the efforts made by private entities and how best to incentivise them to continue their activities and ensure that they are included in funding allocations.

Furthermore, according to the Act, the National Climate Change Council, which is chaired by the President, is required to include a representative of the civil society organisations, nominated by an umbrella body of civil society organisations working on climate change issues.   

Kiboi: There are also other representatives from the private sector, and this group includes the media. Another important aspect is that the government has made a concerted effort to provide environmental training to media representatives.


interview kenya
The interviewees (from left to right): Mr. Charles Mutai, Mr. Stephen King'uyu, Mr. David Kiboi, and Mr. Harun Warui

Is it true that you have also set up training for government staff to help build capacity in environmental policy?  

Warui: Through the Climate Change Directorate of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, we have set up a partnership with the Kenyan School of Government to develop a curriculum on climate change policy, planning and budgeting that could be used for training purposes and to enhance mainstreaming of climate change actions at the national and subnational levels. Two products have been developed:  a training course concept including a curriculum and training manual. Future trainers have been identified and have already received training. We are currently preparing for an inaugural training session.


Is this training open to all sectors?

King’uyu: Yes, it can be customised for the needs of the training cohort.

Mutai: It aims at planning officers, many of whom are economists, finance officers, accountants, and administrative staff, because these are the people who provide support in planning development. The long-term plan is to mainstream climate change in all existing training courses at all levels.


Is there currently a system in place for tracking the climate change activities of counties and municipalities?

King’uyu: It is taking shape. We have tried to improve the existing tracking system by encouraging cooperation between the ministries and all the stakeholders to produce tangible indicators for monitoring and reporting on climate change adaptation and mitigation. The counties are now expected to report to the county minister responsible for climate change affairs every year as well as to the county assembly on what has been done to address climate change. They are also required to integrate the National Climate Change Action Plan into county planning. This is a five-year iterative tool, through which the national and county governments commit to climate change in their planning and implementation by decree. This is also a great starting point for our national reporting and the basis for our international reporting obligations. There will also be a similar reporting system at the national level.

What are your priorities and next steps for advancing NDC implementation in Kenya in the next 12 months?

King’uyu: We will continue to work on strengthening our systems and structures and building the capacity of the different  institutions responsible for coordinating and implementing the NDC initiatives. A key priority over the coming year will be to use the NDC sector analysis to identify any gaps in capacity at the technical and institutional levels. We are also carrying out a review of our first National Climate Change Action Plan. This will determine how much progress we have made in meeting our targets for the 2013-2017 medium-term planning period. This process and the NDC process are complementary. Furthermore, we need to identify any areas that do not receive funding from the exchequer (government funding), so that we can secure additional funding from our partners. Defining indicators for measuring and reporting adaptation action is another important task.

A very important aspect is that we need to improve some areas of our transparency framework. We are moving forward to ensure that we report our Third National Communication and our Biennial Update Report. Assessing the progress of NDC implementation is an important requirement of the transparency framework.

Kiboi: Another challenge is to translate this high-level thinking into practical action on the ground and to start packaging these ideas in order to attract funds from the GCF and other development partners.  

Thank you very much