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Mainstreaming Climate Change in County Governments

climate changeAs Climate change effects escalates in Kenya, National and County Governments have initiated plans that seek to Coordinate and develop processes that support Climate Resilient Development.
In a meeting held in Nakuru County on 11th April 2017, the Natural Resource Management Committee for the Council of Governors reiterated that there is need to enhance capacities for County governments and local communities to integrate climate change and environmental degradation concerns into county development plans and programs.
Kenya’s economy is highly dependent on the natural resource base, and thus is highly vulnerable to climate variability and change. Rising temperatures and changing rainfall patterns, resulting in increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events such as droughts and flooding that threaten the sustainability of the country’s development.
In order to safeguard sustainable development, the County Governments and the National Government have developed the National Climate Change Framework Policy to provide a clear and concise articulation of overall response priorities to climate variability and change.
The Policy focuses on the inter-linkages between sustainable development and climate change. Climate change adversely impacts key sectors that are important to the economy and society like Environment, Water and Forestry; Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries; Trade; Extractive industries; Energy; Physical Infrastructure; Tourism; and Health.
The Council of Governors has shown commitment to protect the climate system for the benefit of the present and future generations by supporting the Conventions on Climate Change process. Further, the Council has set out a legal commitment to attain ecologically sustainable development; hence providing a firm basis to address the challenge of climate change while striving to attain the development goals set out in Kenya Vision 2030.
The Legal framework developed will further facilitate a coordinated, coherent and effective response to the Counties and national challenges and opportunities presented by climate change. An overarching mainstreaming approach has been adopted to ensure the integration of climate change considerations into development planning, budgeting and implementation in all sectors and at all levels of government.
The sustainable development in Counties is significantly dependant on the design and implementation of mechanisms that trigger and enhance climate change resilience and adaptive capacity. Devolved governments present an opportunity to diversify and implement appropriate climate change responses to build resilience, as each level of government performs distinct functions while pursuing cooperation with the other level of government, where necessary.
Climate change mainstreaming is necessary to equip various coordinating and sectoral agencies of the Kenyan national and county governments with the tools to effectively respond to the complex challenges of climate change. In this context, mainstreaming implies the integration of climate change policy responses and actions into national, county, and sectoral planning and management processes.
This requires explicitly linking climate change actions to core planning processes through cross-sectoral policy integration as provided in an overarching national guidance system and the national climate change legislation.
County Governments have prepared Integrated Development Plans through which climate change actions will be mainstreamed.

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