Kenya plans to host East African Framework Agreement on air pollution


Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta announced Tuesday his country plans to host the East African Framework Agreement on air pollution, building on the Nairobi Agreement of 2008.

Kenyatta told the Third Session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) in Nairobi that Kenya hopes to build on the gains achieved with the ban on plastic bags as part of efforts to protect the planet.

“In furthering the Agreement on Air Pollution, we hope to repeat the success we have achieved with the ban of plastic carrier bags, and we look forward to global support in this effort,” Kenyatta said.

The Nairobi Agreement of 2008 brought together 11 countries to develop actionable targets to address air pollution.

More than 4,000 heads of states and ministers, UN officials and civil society are attending UNEA that seeks to galvanize global support to tackle the pollution menace.

The East African Framework Agreement on air pollution was signed in Nairobi in 2008 by African ministers in charge of environment with an aim to control and reduce agreed air pollutants.

The countries in the pact include Uganda, Tanzania, Sudan, Somalia, Rwanda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The agreement hopes to reduce air pollution in a number of areas including transport, industry, mining as well as indoor air pollution.

The deal hopes to harmonize national air quality standards legislations among the cooperating states.

Kenyatta said that in the past the pursuit of prosperity was undertaken by nations with little regard to environmental consequences.

“Few bothered to count the environmental costs and even when they did, they went unheeded,” he added.

Kenyatta also announced that Kenya has started bidding for the hosting of the second United Nations Oceans Conference in 2020. The first conference was held in New York in June.

He said Kenya plans to organize and host a global conference on blue economy within next year as a buildup to the Oceans Conference.

The President said Kenya remains wholly committed to strengthening and supporting the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) to achieve its noble goals.

“That is why we will increase Kenya’s funding to the organization in order to support its programs. I would also like to encourage other member states to consider raising their voluntary contributions to help UNEP discharge its mandate effectively,” he said.